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After PM, under-fire Jairam meets Chidambaram

Source: PTI
May 12, 2010 19:09 IST
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After being reprimanded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his controversial remarks in China, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh met Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday and is said to have clarified the context of the statement.

Rameshm who met the home minister in North Blockm refused to talk to media about the meeting that lasted for just 15 minutes.

The meeting is being seen as a damage control exercise from Ramesh to appease Chidambaram, who in a letter to the prime minister expressed his reservation against Ramesh's remarks made in the neighbouring country.

The minister in Beijing had said on last Saturday that the home ministry was "overly defencive" and "alarmist" in its approach towards entry of Chinese companies in India.

He was critical of the home ministry's decision about restrictions on allowing the import and installation of equipment from Chinese firms on the grounds that it could pose a security challenge, in the highly sensitive telecom sector.

Ramesh, while talking about the India-China warmth developed during the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, had suggested that the home ministry needed to be "much more relaxed" in its approach to Chinese investments in India.

However, back home Ramesh faced attacks from all quarters including the Congress and opposition parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party, which criticised him for breaching basic protocol with his comments on the issue that pertained to be of national security.

The prime minister pulled up Ramesh asking him "not to make comments on the functioning of other ministries, especially with regard to relationship with important neighbours like China", PMO sources had said.

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

While the Congress tried to distance itself from the comments made by Ramesh, the BJP had demanded his resignation.
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