KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Minister for Information and Communications Jaya Prakash Gupta told the cabinet on Tuesday that he would not "apologize under any circumstances" for his recent remarks on territorial integrity of the country.
"I will not apologize for what I said even if parliament remains obstructed for a year," a source quoted Gupta as saying at the cabinet meeting.
Gupta took time in the cabinet meeting to respond to criticisms in parliament for his remarks that Tarai would disintegrate from the state within two/three months if the problems in Tarai were not addressed. Lawmakers from the opposition party have also demanded his resignation for his remarks.
Speaking in the cabinet, Gupta also took strong exception to the concerns expressed by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai over his remarks. "The remarks I made related to a political problem," the source quoted Gupta as saying, "I am concerned over whether a ceremonial president can discuss such an issue with the prime minister."
Gupta also took strong exception to the prime minister´s press advisor Ram Rijan Yadav making public the president´s concerns over his remarks.
At the meeting, the prime minister told Gupta that he met the president to discuss the peace process and constitution writing and Gupta´s remarks cropped up during the meeting.