Cabinet differences not to be aired: Pranab

Posted By: Devaki
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New Delhi, May 23: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the difference of opinions in the union cabinet are 'not to be aired in public,' on behalf of the direct criticism made by Home Minister P Chidambaram. Chidambaram had remarked that he had a limited mandate to fight Maoists.

"I don't want to make any comment on what my distinguished colleague, Chidambaram said. He is the best person to explain in what context he said," said Mukherjee to a news channel.

"I am saying that in what context what he said, he is in a better position to explain about it.These things we do not share in public, these things are not to be shared in public. I am not the person to explain and air my views which are different from the decision taken in the cabinet," said Mukherjee.

Pranab Mukherjee refused to express the opinion on the differences in the cabinet over the anti-Maoist strategy. Chidambaram had indicated his opinions last week in a TV interview, when he was speaking about 'limited mandate'. He had also said that he would go back to the Govt panel for the expanded mandate. Pranab said that such issues are to be discussed in the cabinet and can never be a public debate.

When asked if the government would expand the home ministry's mandate in tackling Maoist insurgents, Mukherjee said: "I do not know, unless we hear from the ministry. What are the elements, what are the ingredients of the expanded mandate. When it will be discussed then we will take the decision."

He said each cabinet member having his or her own point of view was normal."That is nothing unusual. Like any other corporate body, for the decision making process various inputs come from various participants, but once the decision is taken, everybody follows that decision," he added.

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