Pranab distances himself from 2G note

FM Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarifying his stand on the 2G scam note written by his ministry.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Putting up a united front the big guns of the Congress party addressed the media on Thursday evening in an apparent bid to put an end to the controversy arising because of the Finance Ministry’s note to the PMO on 2G in March this year.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a short and cautious statement said that the view in the 2G note was not his view. He added, “Number of stories has appeared on 2G. Apart from the factual background the paper contains certain inferences which are not my view.”

“The inputs were taken from the PMO and the Cabinet Secretary, background paper was prepared and sent to the PMO.”

He reiterated that the policy on spectrum allocation was not flawed but implementation. The senior Congress leader also clarified that the NDA should also take the blame as the policy was adopted by their regime in 2003.

This statement is being seen as a clear attempt to clear the name of the Home Minister in the 2G controversy. The move is also an attempt by the Finance Minister to distance himself from the note.

Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid were present at the media briefing.

It has been a long day hectic political activities in the capital today. The statement came after Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram met the Prime Minister at 7, Race Course Road. The meeting was also attended by the prime minister`s principal secretary TKA Nair.

Meanwhile in a related event the CBI, issued Chidambaram a clean chit today.

Ahead of the meeting, Pranab had also met Sonia Gandhi at 10, Janpath, prior to which, Sonia held discussions with senior Congress leaders AK Antony and Ahmed Patel this morning.

Congress has categorically rejected reports of infighting within the party leaders, and to prove this, both Pranab and Chidambaram are expected to hold a joint press conference on the issue later today.

The Finance Minister also reportedly called up Home Minister P Chidambaram late on Wednesday and apprised him about the 2G note saying that it was a government letter and his ministry is nowhere involved in leaking it.

The March 25 note to the Prime Minister`s Office from the Finance Ministry says that the airwaves could have been auctioned in 2008 if Chidambaram, who was then the finance minister, had "stuck to his stand".

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