Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] has directed Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] and P Chidambaram [ Images ] to remain in New Delhi [ Images ] to oversee issues of national urgency during his absence from India [ Images ] in the first half of November, when he would be visiting France [ Images ], Maldives [ Images ] and Indonesia.
The prime minister's decision is reportedly a fallout of the 'hue and cry' created during his Washington visit over the 2G spectrum issue.
The surfacing of a note from a finance ministry official, suggesting that 2G scam could have been avoided by the then finance minister Chidambaram if had insisted of auction instead of giving licences on 2001 prices, had created bad blood between Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee.
Dr Singh's decision was communicated to members of the cabinet committee on political affairs by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth.
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth's letter can be accessed here