Strongly disapproving of the remarks of Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on the functioning of the Home Ministry, the Congress on Monday endorsed the official line that comments made by any Minister on the working of another Ministry or Department were not appreciated, more so when made on foreign soil.
Party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told journalists that Congress endorsed the statement made from the Prime Minister's Office and added that there should be no occasion to air differences with other Ministers or Ministries even within the country.
“To comment [on] or criticise other Ministries and Departments is neither right nor permissible. There are enough fora in the government, the Council of Ministers and the party to air differences,'' he said.
Mr. Singhvi also clarified that the party did not approve of the contents of the statement made by Mr. Ramesh regarding the Home Ministry during his recent visit to China but refused to comment on whether the Minister should resign. He also did not respond when journalists pointed out that the Chinese could use Mr. Ramesh's remarks every time there was any issue with China.
Mr. Ramesh had on Saturday said “alarmist'' and “paranoid'' policies of the Home Ministry towards Chinese companies and projects in India were threatening to derail the post-Copenhagen warming of ties between the neighbours.
Denying allegations that Mr. Ramesh was lobbying for the Chinese companies, Mr. Singhvi said these were wrong.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (CPI) has criticised Mr. Ramesh for airing his remarks against the Home Ministry on foreign soil and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explain the Environment Minister's action.
Party national secretary D. Raja asked why Mr. Ramesh chose to air his views on foreign soil, about an internal issue when he had enough fora in the country to express his opinions. He could have conveyed his views in Parliament or while he was in India, Mr. Raja said.