Had Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram offered to resign in the past 10 days amid a raging controversy over the Finance Ministry's office memorandum on the 2G spectrum allocation issue that had raised political temperature? “Frankly, I have a very short memory,'' he said as he tried to steer clear of the question at his monthly press conference here on Friday.
He did not give any straight answers to persistent questioning by journalists on the truce between him and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the controversial office memorandum as well as to queries if he, at any point of time, offered to quit.
Mr. Chidambaram was asked whether Thursday's truce was a victory for him and defeat for Mr. Mukherjee. “I don't recall anything of that sort in the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he replied with a straight face.
Asked whether he had offered to resign when the UPA government was plunged into a crisis, Mr. Chidambaram did not blink. “Frankly, I have a very short memory,'' he replied.
“How many times did you offer to resign? Was it thrice?,'' another journalist asked him. “Along with short memory, I am also poor in counting,” Mr. Chidambaram said. However, persistent queries continued. “At least once?,'' the reporter asked again.
“Actually, I am learning numeracy,'' Mr. Chidamabarm said.
“So you are not denying that you offered to resign?'' the reporter persisted.
“There is nothing in the question that concerns the Home Ministry. The answer is no answer,'' Mr. Chidambaram said.
To similar queries on the controversial Finance Ministry's office memorandum, he replied: “I cannot recall anything like that in the Home Ministry.”
To a question on the ongoing feud between him and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, he said: “There is nothing that concerns the Home Minister. It does not concern the Home Minister. There is and there will always be a Home Minister in this country.”