Bansal, Khurshid slam Naveen remarks

New Delhi: Union Ministers P K Bansal and Salman Khurshid today slammed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for suggesting that Pranab Mukherjee`s doling out financial assistance to some states might be linked to his Presidential bid. "This is very unbecoming of a chief minister. He should not have said such things," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters here.

He was responding to queries on Patnaik`s statement questioning the motive behind financial doles to certain states by Mukherjee during his tenure as Union Finance Minister. Bansal said state governments are allocated funds on the basis of presentations made by Chief Ministers before the Planning Commission. "I hope the opposition does not vitiate the Presidential polls (by making such claims)," he said.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said a person cannot stop working for five years before he is actually considered for the post of President. "One thing is that when these packages are rolled out, the person who rolls them out does not know that he will become the candidate for the highest office in the country.

And you cannot stop working for five years before you are actually considered as President, you can`t stop working and saying, we will do nothing at all," Khurshid told reporters here. He said it was clear that Mukherjee was getting overwhelming support not just from UPA but also from a broad spectrum of political parties. "I think it is best to accept reality and join in the celebration and extend support for an outstanding President for our country," Khurshid said.