Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday rejected a charge by an officer that he had insulted him during a meeting and said he had not hurt anyone’s feelings.
“I don’t know what the controversy is about. He (Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna) was speaking in a mixture of Hindi and English, which I could not understand. I told him that he may speak in English or, if he was more comfortable, speak in Hindi and someone could help me understand,” he said in a statement.
Two newspapers reported the correct version of what happened during the meeting, he said, adding, “I have nothing more to add. There was no question of hurting anyone’s feelings.”
Krishna, who reportedly felt insulted, wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining about the alleged remarks of Chidambaram at the meeting, saying the “tone and tenor (of the minister) was expressly humiliating.”
The meeting had been called to discuss additional central assistance for Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission projects that were sanctioned and were awaiting release of funds by the Finance Ministry.
Besides Krishna, the meeting was attended by the Expenditure Secretary and officers of the Finance Ministry and the Urban Development Ministry.