Chidambaram enjoys my confidence: PM

Prime Minister rejected the Opposition demand for the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram over the 2G issue.

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 unusual 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, "Of course 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 sub-judice", 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.


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