New Delhi, July 2 (ANI): A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik accused Pranab Mukherjee of buying the support of parties for presidential poll votes through large sums of money in select states as the finance minister, Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday asked the former to accept reality and support United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate in the race to Raisina Hill.
"One thing is that when these packages are rolled out, the person who rolls them out doesn't know that he will become the candidate for highest office in the country. And you can't stop working five years before you are actually considered as President, you can't stop working and saying, we will do nothing at all," Khurshid told the media here.
"Now that it has become clear that there is an overwhelming majority for Pranabda, not just from people who support the UPA but across the board. I think it's best to accept reality and join in the celebration and support of an outstanding President for our country," he added.
Patnaik had earlier on Sunday accused Mukherjee of doling out huge sum of money to states like Bihar, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
"Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister of India had doled out huge sum of money... lakhs of crores... to certain states like Bihar, Bengal and UP," Patnaik told the media in Bhubaneswar.
"Could it be that this money is going because he wants certain parties...to support his candidature as Rashtrapati (president) of India? This is not private money but people's money, your money. Why is so much money being given by the central government when the presidential elections are going on?" he added.
It may be recalled here that Patnaik has backed former Lok Sabha speaker and BJP-backed contestant P.A. Sangma in the presidential election.
Pranab Mukherjee, who resigned as the Finance Minister to contest the presidential election, is all set to emerge victorious in the race to Raisina Hill.
His resignation brought an end to a distinguished 43-year-long political career.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24. (ANI)