New York: After a 45-meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an angry Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee declined comment on the 2G controversy as it was sub judice and he first needed to talk to 'our valued colleague' Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

Like Manmohan Singh, he too suggested that Sunday's meeting was essentially to brief the Prime Minister about his interactions in the US and not about a Finance Ministry note to the PMO on the Home Minister's role in the auction of the 2G spectrum.

'Unless I talk to the Law Minister, unless I talk to Mr. Chidambram, who is our valued colleague, unless I talk to the other party leaders and I go through all the papers, relevant papers, what comment will I make?' Mukherjee asked Indian journalists at a hastily summoned press conference in his hotel suite.

'And why should I make a comment on a domestic issue outside India? I am not fugitive. I am not leaving the country for all times to come,' a visibly agitated Finance Minister said.

'Therefore, I will say what I can say, what is permissible for me to say. I am not a lawyer. I have to take the expert opinion on it. Therefore, it would not be proper for me to make any comment on that.'

'But as all of you wanted to meet me yesterday (Saturday) and I was a bit rude. That's why I thought I'll meet you,' Mukherjee told journalists who had patiently waited for his arrival at the hotel, where he and the Indian delegation accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are staying.

'I am not going to give you any earth shaking news. I gave you trouble to come to apologize that sorry I can't give you anything beyond that.'

In the note, the Finance Ministry says Chidambaram, one of the Government's most high-profile Ministers, could have prevented spectrum from being given away at throwaway prices by insisting on its auction -- implying that presumptive losses worth thousands of crores could have thus been avoided.

The note, which was apparently shown to Mukherjee and accessed by an application under the Right to Information Act, was prepared by a Deputy Secretary in the Finance Ministry and sent to the Prime Minister's Office March 25.

Pranab meets Manmohan

A meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the 2G spectrum issue in the wake of a Finance Ministry note involving Home Minister P. Chidambaram has ended.

Mukherjee, who arrived here from Washington late Saturday night after attending the annual meetings of the World Bank Group in Washington, declined to talk to journalists as Secret Service personnel escorted him to his room in the hotel where the Indian delegation accompanying the Prime Minister is also staying.

(Agencies)