Reuters: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday defended Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram who is facing heat in the 2G telecoms case that has rocked the Congress-led coalition government.
“Home Minister P. Chidambaram enjoys my full confidence,” Singh was quoted by broadcaster NDTV’s website as saying.
On Monday, several TV channels reported the powerful home minister had offered to resign, days after a document emerged suggesting he failed to stop a multi-billion dollar telecoms scam.
The scandal over the sale of 2G telecoms licences at rock bottom prices in 2007 when Chidambaram was finance minister has damaged the government’s credibility and already landed one former minister and company executives in jail.
A finance ministry memo made public last week implied Chidambaram failed to rectify the underpriced sale of telecoms licences that lost the treasury up to $39 billion.
The note was approved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, considered by many to be a rival to Chidambaram in the cabinet.
“There are no dissentions in my cabinet,” Prime Minister Singh said on board a plane on his way back to New Delhi from the United States, NDTV reported.
“The opposition wants to force early elections. We will complete the full term,” Singh was quoted as saying.
Singh’s government was voted back to power in 2009 and completes its current five-year term in 2014.