PM, Pranab call up Chidambaram on 2G note


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who are away in the US, called up P. Chidambaram over the latest controversy in the 2G spectrum scam and the home minister assured both that he will not speak on the issue till their return.

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Chidambaram made the assurance when the two senior leaders of the government made a phone call to him Wednesday night.

“Friends from the media have asked me why I remain silent. The prime minister called me last night from Frankfurt and spoke to me. The finance minister called me from Washington and spoke to me,” Chidambaram said in a statement here Thursday.

“I have assured the prime minister that I shall not make any public statement on the subject until he returns to India,” he added.

Government sources, meanwhile, said that during the phone call Wednesday, the prime minister informed Chidambaram that he had not seen the finance ministry note mentioning his role in the 2G spectrum allocation.

During the call that lasted for 20 minutes, the prime minister conveyed his complete faith on Chidambaram’s integrity and asked him to remain patient till his return to India Sep 27, sources said.

Chidambaram was the finance minister in the United Progressive Alliance-I government when the 2G spectrum allocation was done.

The finance ministry note to the PMO says Chidambaram could have prevented the spectrum from being given away at throwaway prices by insisting on its auction — implying that presumptive losses worth thousands of crores could have thus been avoided.