Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PM to return home amid 2G storm

New Delhi, Sept 27 (IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh celebrated his 79th birthday on Tuesday on board the special aircraft on his way back from USA, but when he touched down in New Delhi he would have to face the 2G storm that has set Congress's own house in fire with two key ministers pitted against each other.

Onboard the aircraft the PM, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, cut cakes with officials and journalists and celebrated the occasion.

Back home the Union Home Minister P Chidambarm´s name in the 2G turmoil is creating a ruckus even as the Congress said it is only the media creation and the two top ministers- Pranab Mukherjee and Chidambaram- are not at loggerheads over the controversial finance ministry note of this year that said the Union Home Minister could have prevented the scam as then finance minister in 2008.

There were some unconfirmed reports that P Chidambaram on Monday offered to resign from his political chair after meeting party supremo Sonia Gandhi.

Chidambaram on Monday met Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence as the fire-fighting continued in the Congress.

In the 20-minute meeting, Chidambaram explained his stand on the 2G spectrum allocation scam to Gandhi.

He cancelled his trip to flood-hit Orissa on Tuesday after the meeting.

Union Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee also met Gandhi. He was back from USA on Monday.

"Chidambaram is crucial for the party. He is a valued colleague. He is a pillar of strength for the party and the government," Mukherjee told reporters before entering Gandhi´s house.

In the backdrop of the fresh 2G scam that almost pitted the ruling Congress ministers against each other, Mukherjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York on Sunday.

Mukherjee after meeting the PM told media that he would not comment on the issue till he is aware of everything and take expert opinion.

Chidambaram also refused to speak to media till the PM arrived.

The controversy arose after the publication of a finance minister note okayed by Mukherjee in March this year where the ministry indicates that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as the finance minister in 2008 could have prevented the 2G scam by blocking the policies of then telecom minister A Raja.

"My ministers enjoy my confidence in full," the PM said earlier.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the auditors of the government, has pegged the 2G allocation loss to the government at around Rs 1.76 lakh crore, making it the biggest financial corruption case in independent India.


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