New Delhi: Congress on Friday downplayed Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's reported remarks about Rashtrapati Bhavan's expansive lawns, which were interpreted as an indication of his willingess to become the President.

READ MORE: I like Rashtrapati Bhavan lawns: Pranab

"The office of the Presidency should not be brought into the realm of speculation. As and when consultations are complete and a decision is arrived at, we will communicate the decision to you.

"And I think anybody is well within his right to appreciate a well-manicured lawn," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said when asked whether the desire of the veteran Congress leader to walk on the lawns of Rashtrapati Bhavan can be fulfilled.

A newspaper had reported that Mukherjee's comments about Rashtrapati Bhavan's lawns and how he loves to walk on them renewed speculation about the veteran leader's interest in becoming the next President. The newspaper quoted Mukherjee as saying "I love to walk in the morning... I take 40 rounds of my lawns... the Rashtrapati Bhavan has large lawns... one would not need 40 rounds," when asked about the possibility of his contesting the Presidential election.

Congress is yet to name the UPA candidate for the President polls and a formal announcement on the name of UPA's nominee is unlikely before the first week of June.

(Agencies)

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