Ramesh told to mind his own business

PM rejects ministers offer to quit

Ramesh told to mind his own business

On his part, speaking to newspersons on Thursday, Ramesh denied having submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister for his remarks on the Home Ministry’s policies when he was on a visit to China, but Congress sources insisted he had actually put in his papers.

That Ramesh has not been given a clean chit by the Congress high command was clear since party president Sonia Gandhi is yet to grant him an audience, reminiscent of the stand she took in a case involving AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who had made caustic remarks against Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Ramesh called on Chidambaram but refused to disclose what transpired between the two to the media. The prime minister is said to have directed Ramesh to meet the Home Minister.

Chidambaram had written a strongly worded letter to Singh, expressing unhappiness over Ramesh’s remarks about his ministry.

Soon after his return from China, Ramesh shot off letters to both the prime minister and Gandhi clarifying his position. After receiving letters from Chidambaram and Ramesh, Singh had spoken to Ramesh and told him that he should not have commented on functioning of other ministries.

Rebuke
Singh had told Ramesh it was “advisable for Cabinet colleagues not to make comments on the functioning of other ministries, especially with regard to relationship with important neighbours like China,” according to PMO sources.

“There is no confusion in our policies towards China and we continue to strive for constructive engagement with Beijing,” Singh had told Ramesh.

Ramesh’s remarks that the Home Ministry was “paranoid and alarmist’’ over its policies towards China did not come at the right time for him as his Rajya Sabha term is coming to an end. He has to get renominated from Andhra Pradesh where a section of the MLAs are up against him.

Closed chapter
Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed described the issue as a “closed chapter” after the Prime Minister turned down Ramesh’s resignation offer.

Meanwhile, the government refused to comment Ramesh’s controversial remarks, saying it was an issue between him, the prime minister and the Congress president.
“I will not comment on this. It is an issue between the prime minister, the UPA (ruling United Progressive Alliance) chairperson and Rameshji,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet briefing.

“It is not for me to comment on an issue like this,” she added.
Asked if the cabinet had discussed the issue, Soni replied: “Cabinet meetings are held according to an agenda. No other issues are discussed.”

Defence Minister A K Antony contradicted Ramesh by making it clear that India is not paranoid over China and said the relationship between the two countries is improving and getting better even though the border dispute existed.

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