Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, isolated and under attack from the Opposition after the letter the Finance Ministry wrote to the Prime Minister's Office was made public on Wednesday, discovered he had a supporter after all.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh!
Speaking briefly to reporters aboard Air India 001, high above the Atlantic Ocean, Dr Singh at first said he had no idea what letter the journalists were alluding to, before noting that the 2G matter was in court, and he would not like to comment on a sub-judice matter.
Then, in a ringing endorsement of his besieged home minister, Dr Singh said, "Mr Chidambaram enjoyed my faith as finance minister, and continues to inspire my confidence as home minister.
Asked about the reported war between Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Dr Singh, dressed in a smart Chinese collar shirt predictably denied any such conflict, before returning to his cabin on the 747 flying i9n to New York, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.If indeed there is a battle between Chidambaram and Mukherjee -- with the finance minister being accused of damning his Cabinet rival in the aforementioned March 25, 2011 letter on the 2G issue -- the prime minister has not-so-quietly indicated which side he is on.