New Delhi: Ahead of Union Steel Minister
Beni Prasad Verma`s likely response to the Election Commission
on minorities` sub-quota issue, Congress on Monday said the party
leader holds the poll authority in the highest esteem.
"Certainly, the intent or effect (of what he said) of it
was neither to vitiate any law nor to violate any code of
conduct," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters
shortly after Verma met him.
Noting that Verma is "a very veteran politician", Singhvi
said there was no question of slightest disrespect to the EC
intended or done in any manner because "I know Verma holds it
(Election Commission) in the highest esteem".
Singhvi, who is a senior Supreme Court advocate, said,
Verma will request the EC to take a balanced view of the
whole thing and make it clear that he did not intend to bring
down the dignity of the poll panel even fractionally.
The Commission had issued a showcause notice to the steel
minister on Saturday, seeking clarification on his remarks on
sub-quota for minorities.
At a rally in Farrukabad on February 15, Verma had said
reservations for minorities must be increased and had dared
the EC to take action against him.
After elaborating on the "plight" of Muslims and the
facilities that his party would provide to the community,
Verma had specifically requested people to vote for the
The Commission, which had seen the video recording of
Verma`s rally, had said it was prima facie satisfied after
seeing the footage that the minister had violated the
provisions of the model code of conduct.