New Delhi: New Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for giving him the responsibility of such an important portfolio.
"I am certainly loyal to the Gandhi family from the time of Indira Gandhi. Such opportunities are very rarely given to the Dalits and minorities," he said.
Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, he admitted that the Home portfolio is a tough ministry. "From a peon in a court to a constable and now the Home Minister, I had not imagined this. This happens only in democracy."
Defending his stint as Power Minister and the grid collapse, Shinde said that the failure of Power grid happened twice due to overdrawing by states. "The officers’ attempt to restore power in a short time span should be appreciated. One should understand the problem."
He said that the action will be taken after the report comes. "States told that they would be penalised if they overdraw power. Last year Uttar Pradesh was penalised for overdrawing power. Violations of norms is not just by UP but by many other states."
Shinde said that the minister is not the technical person and should not be blamed. “The technical person works at the power stations. Once the report is out, we will know who is responsible.”
“There is a shortage of power in the country. The Prime Minister is bound to snub us if we are not working. The Prime Minister did write to me last year and we did rectify many things. I consider myself a successful power minister. Power is on the concurrent list. It is the first duty of the state,” he said.