Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday backed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's comments -- that only a secular person should be the prime minister -- but asked why he even entertained fears that a non-secular person could reach that position.
"I think it is a welcome thing. We are a secular country, so our prime minister must be secular. If there was any doubt about this in any political organisation, their own leaders now coming out and saying this clearly is a welcome thing," Khurshid said.
"Nitishji has said that the Indian prime minister should be secular. I am hundred per cent in agreement with him. But why does Nitish Kumar have fears that the Indian prime minister will not be secular, I am not able to understand," he said.
Khurshid was asked by reporters about his views on the remarks made by the Bihar chief minister in an interview, where he made it apparent that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi was unacceptable to him as the National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate.
On Kumar's comments that the prime minister should feel for underdeveloped states, he said, "Whoever becomes the prime minister is responsible for the entire country. To say that he should be concerned about states which are developing and not those which are developed, then what will happen is that we will allow states which can be helpful for growth to be weakened".
"So how would we then help those which need help for development," he asked.
Khurshid stressed on the need for a balanced approach towards all states, saying the resources for the development of lesser developed states in the country came from the developed areas.
"A balanced approach is needed. After all, where do the resources come from? Resources come from developed states. If you don't look at the developed states, where will the resources come for the developing states," Khurshid said.
"I think we should not be narrow in our thinking and approach. We have to be balanced, we have to be broad-minded and, of course, we have to be rational and practical," he said.