Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari Wednesday lashed out at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying it was "unfortunate" that the Gujarat chief minister dragged the president's office into his political rhetoric.
Modi, addressing a political rally in Kolkata, said President Pranab Mukherjee was twice deliberately ignored for the prime minister's post by the Congress party.
Tewari told reporters on the sidelines of an event here that it was "extremely unfortunate that the chief minister of Gujarat has sought to trample on constitutional propriety by dragging the august office of the president into a political discourse".
"The fact is that the president is the symbol of the Indian state and is supposed to be above party politics, and that is the decorum everyone has maintained," he said.
He said Modi has a "tendency to score political brownie points and to take partisan pot shots" and has not even spared the president.
Modi Wednesday accused the Congress and the Gandhi family of denying the coveted post of prime minister to Pranab Mukherjee twice - in 1984 and 2004 - despite his qualifications.
Mukherjee, a leader from Bengal, did not find place in the ministry after Rajiv Gandhi led the Congress to a landslide victory in the 1984 general elections.
After the 2004 general election, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi chose Manmohan Singh to head the government. Modi said Mukherjee should have been given the chance as the seniormost leader of the Congress.