Aiyar rubbishes Wikileaks claim over his removal from petroleum ministry

Brushing aside the Wikileaks expose about his removal from the post of union minister for petroleum under US pressure, senior Congress leader and former union petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar today said the claim was rubbish.

"This is absolutely rubbish," said Aiyar while speaking to media persons at Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) headquarters in Lucknow.

According to Aiyar, the Americans were happy when he was removed as they considered him anti-American. "But I am pro-India," he said. 

According to Aiyar, his main portfolio was panchayati raj and the petroleum ministry was entrusted to him as an additional charge by prime minister Manmohan Singh.  He said he had indicated that the petroleum ministry was his temporary charge at his first press conference.

The cabinet secretariat though pointed out that there was no such thing like a temporary job, Aiyar said.

"It was my luck that the temporary charge lasted 20 months. I did an outstanding job in the ministry," he said.