PM rejects Oppn demand for PC's resignation, will defend
United Nations: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday rejected the Opposition demand for the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram over the 2G issue and made it clear he will defend all his Cabinet colleagues.
Ahead of his meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New York tomorrow, Singh also said there is nothing "unusual" in the demand of the Opposition and asserted there is no question of him getting bothered about this.
"The business of the Opposition is to oppose and to depose the government in power, so this is nothing unsual they are doing," he told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly(UNGA) session which he addressed this
Singh was asked to comment on the strident demand of the Opposition for Chidambaram's resignation in the light of the Finance Ministry's 2G note to the Prime Minister's office(PMO) submitted to the Supreme Court early this week.
The note that has kicked up a political storm suggested that the 2G scam could have been averted had the Finance Ministry then headed by Chidambaram insisted on the auction route instead of 2001 price for allotment of spectrum.
Singh replied in the negative when asked if he was bothered about the Opposition demand.
"Why should I be bothered?" he asked.
Asked whether he will back Mukherjee like Chidambaram, Singh replied, “Ofcourse all my ministers. They are I think ministers who enjoy my confidence in full."
On his meeting tomorrow with Mukherjee, who is coming to New York from Washington, Singh saw nothing unusual in it.
"There are a lot of things happening in the world. There's the global economic crisis. He was at the (IMF-World Bank) meeting. So he would like to brief me. So there is nothing unusual in all this," he said.
Mukherjee, who is returning home tomorrow, will be reaching New York tonight after rescheduling his programme slightly but fulfilling all the slated engagements.
Singh and Mukherjee are likely to discuss the whole 2G allotment issue in the wake of the latest controversy surrounding Chidambaram.
Ever since the Finance Ministry note surfaced, the Opposition parties have been baying for Chidambaram's blood.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister had fully backed Chidambaram and ruled out any infighting among the ministers.
"I don't know what note you are talking about. The whole 2G matter is before the court. I don't want to comment on a matter that is subjudice", he told journalists accompanying him from Frankfurt to New York.
"As far as Mr P Chidambaram is concerned, as Finance Minister, he had enjoyed my full confidence and as Home Minister he continues to enjoy and inspire my full confidence," he said.