Khurshid`s defends minority quota remarks before EC

Last Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 19:54

New Delhi: Strongly defending his remarks
promising job quotas for minorities, Law Minister Salman
Khurshid on Friday told the Election Commission that he had only
made a declaration of intent and not a policy announcement.

Appearing on behalf of the Law Minister, leading
counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi also told the Election
Commission that Khurshid had not referred to any particular
minority community and had only reiterated a pre-declared
government policy.

"We have given sufficiently strong reasons in this
regard," Singhvi told reporters after a nearly hour-long
Commission hearing.

The Election Commission had issued a showcause notice
to Khurshid for having declared that his party would provide
nine per cent reservation to minorities from the existing 27
per cent reservation meant for OBCs should it return to power
in UP.

He had made the remarks while campaigning for his wife
Louise Khurshid in Farrukhabad.

"The person concerned was not speaking in any manner
as a Union Minister. He was speaking as a Congressman," said
Singhvi, who is also a Congress spokesman.

He said such "declaration of inclusionary kind"
regarding minorities has been made consistently in the
Congress manifestoes in 2002 and 2007 in Uttar Pradesh
elections and in 2009 during the general elections.

Singhvi said Khurshid had not referred to any
particular minority but had used the word `minorities`.

"It was merely a reiteration and repetition of a
pre-declared Government of India policy declared before the
Model Code of Conduct came into force," Singhvi said.


First Published: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 09:43

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