Quota row: EC closes Khurshid chapter

In a relief to Salman Khurshid, the Election Commission on Wednesday decided not to take further action in Law Minister`s Muslim quota remark issue.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a relief to Salman Khurshid, the Election Commission on Wednesday decided not to take further action in Law Minister`s Muslim quota remark issue.

The EC decided to close the case after the minister’s "change" of position and regret.

"Based on the minister`s clear change of position as
conveyed directly to the Commission, it has been decided not
to take any further action in the matter," the Commission said
in a statement.

To avoid a repeat of such a situation, the Commission
has, however, advised and cautioned all contending parties and
those campaigning in elections, particularly those persons
holding public offices, to be extremely careful in future.

Khurshid had earlier written to Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, expressing regret over his comments which were seen as "defiance" of the poll body and led to complaint against him to President Pratibha Patil.

While the complaint against him was with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for appropriate action, Khurshid in his letter said that he had no intention to transgress the law and undermine the poll code of conduct.

Khurshid said that he "bows to the wisdom of EC" and regretted his remarks which were seen by the poll body as "defiance" and "contemptuous" of the constitutional body.

After Khurshid wrote the regret letter, the Election Commission had indicated that the matter would be put to an end after the minister promised not to create such a situation in future.

The EC had last Saturday taken strong objection to his comments that he would continue to speak on nine per cent sub-quota for minorities even if the poll body "hangs me".

It had written to the President to seek her "immediate and decisive" intervention to uphold the constitutional body`s authority.

Khurshid`s letter came close on the heels of Congress disapproving his comments against the poll panel, saying that "people occupying posts of responsibility should speak responsibly".

"As responsible citizens of this country, it is our obligation to promote the spirit of law, its adherence and enforcement. This is the ethos on which I have woven my entire life and am committed to the Election Commission`s effort towards the conduct of a free and fair election process," said the law minister in his single-page regret letter.

Earlier, the CEC found the tone and tenor of the remarks of Khurshid "as utterly contemptuous and dismissive" of the Commission and damaging to the level-playing field" in Uttar Pradesh Assembly election and sought "immediate and decisive" intervention of the President.

Khurshid`s sub-quota remarks were first made during a rally in support of his wife Louise who is contesting as a Congress candidate in Farrukhabad.

On Saturday night, the Law Minister had at another rally stuck to his sub-quota stand, drawing the anger and unprecedented action of the panel of writing to the President.

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