Ramesh writes to PM, Sonia to explain his position


New Delhi: In a tight spot over his remarks in Beijing criticising the government’s policy towards Chinese companies, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi explaining his position.

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A senior Congress leader, who didn’t want to be identified, said the minister wrote to the two leaders after he was rebuked by the prime minister for his remarks that have stirred into a major political controversy.

He said he did not know the details of the note.

The prime minister had telephoned Ramesh and made it clear that he should not to comment on the functioning of ministries outside his domain.

The Congress too admonished the minister, conveying its strong disapproval of his remarks.

“Congress wants to make it clear that commenting on departments that are not in a minister’s domain is not at all appropriate. It should not be done under any circumstances on foreign soil,” party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.

Singhvi said there were fora within the government and party for individual leaders to air their views.

Ramesh created a flutter when he said in Beijing Saturday that the policies of the Indian home ministry and security establishment towards Chinese companies were “alarmist and paranoid”.

In Beijing to attend a global meet on climate change, he said there was danger that cooperation with China flowing from the Copenhagen spirit would not last long unless New Delhi changed “a needlessly restrictive, alarmist approach” to Chinese investment in infrastructure.

“The suspicious attitude of the security establishment is spoiling the bonhomie between the (countries), created as a result of close collaboration on international negotiations on climate change,” he had said.