New Delhi: Seeking to defend his colleague, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Monday put his foot in his mouth saying a man like Salman Khurshid will not do any wrong for Rs 71 lakh, which is a "very samll amount" for a Central Minister.
"Salman Khursid is a responsible person. He is a Central Minister. He was a Central Minister earlier as well. When he is saying there is no scam, he should be believed... I don`t think a person like Khurshid will do anything for an amount like Rs 71 lakh. It is a very small amount for a Central Minister," he told reporters here.
Verma was commenting on the alleged misappropriation of funds by a trust run by Khurshid and his wife. In a press conference yesterday, Khurshid had rejected the allegation and had offered himself to any probe.
"If it would have been Rs 71 crore, even I would have been serious," Verma said adding Khurshid should not resign from his current position.
Verma trained his guns on activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal who has been demanding the resignation of Khurshid on the issue.
"Kejriwal is going to launch a party. I have all the best wishes for him. India has a multi-party system and one more will come. It`s good. But, I have a piece of advice for him: Don`t bark day in day out, try sometimes to roar like a tiger. Those who always bark are of no value," Verma said.
On Sunday, Khurshid denied any wrongdoing by the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, of which he is president and wife Louise is project director. He produced documents and pictures to prove that camps were held in Uttar Pradesh to provide hearing aids and tricycles to the disabled.
Questioning Salman Khurshid’s defence, Kejriwal presented more proof in the alleged embezzlement case by the Law Minister’s NGO today.
Despite the allegations, Congress has stood with Khurshid and has ruled out his resignation over the issue. Several Congress leaders, including Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, also came out in the defence of the Law Minister.
Khurshid said that he would pursue legal action against a TV news channel, which first aired allegations of financial misappropriation in the running of the trust, and Arvind Kejriwal.
With PTI inputs