Yet to decide Khurshid issue, says EC

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 A day after Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid wrote to the Election Commission expressing regret over his remarks on minority sub-quota, the poll panel said it had not yet taken a decision on the issue.

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said the poll body is yet to deliberate on this particular issue as the Commission had several other important issues at hand.

“The Commission has been busy with other important things.... It will decide on it in due course of time,” Quraishi  said after a meeting of the Commission.

In a letter delivered to the Commission on late Monday night, Khurshid said he “bows to the wisdom of the EC” and has given his personal commitment to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.

In a short communication, the Minister said, “I treat this matter as unfortunate and regret the statement...it has never been my intention to transgress the law and undermine the election code of conduct. I have great respect for the Commission and the decisions it takes and has taken....”

Khurshid wrote to the Election Commission after differing voices were coming from the Congress party, some trying to downplay the controversy, while others disapproving of the minister’s behaviour.

Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi, while campaigning in Rae also sought to play down the raging controversy and said such “things do happen in elections”.
“These things do happen during elections... One is free to voice his opinion during elections. So is the Election Commission,” she said, hoping that “the matter will be sorted out.”

However, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee disapproved the law minister’s spat with the poll body and said the Congress had made it clear that “people occupying posts of responsibility should speak responsibly.”

Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi also said the EC was a constitutional body and the party wanted all Congressmen to speak “as per norms of public life and law of the land”.

The poll panel last week censured Khurshid for saying that a nine per cent job quota would be given to minorities including backward Muslims from the 27 per cent OBC quota if Congress took power in Uttar Pradesh.

A day later, Khurshid triggered a fresh controversy saying he will ensure rights to “pasmanda” (backward Muslims) even if he was “hanged” by the poll panel.
Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi wrote to the President on Saturday and said Khurshid’s remarks were “utterly contemptuous” of the poll panel.

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