EC unlikely to press against Khurshid after his regret letter

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 21:44

New Delhi: The Election Commission is unlikely to press further against Law Minister Salman Khurshid after he expressed 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 the Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh for appropriate action, Khurshid wrote
to the Commission last night, saying 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.

Taking cognisance of his regret letter, the Election
Commission appears to be of the view that the matter should be
put to an end after he pronmised not to create such a
situation in future, sources said.

However, the three-member Commission is still in the
process of internal confabulations and has not taken any
decision yet.

"The Commission has been busy with other important
things.... It will decide on it in due course of time," Chief
Election Commissioner SY Quraishi told PTI after a meeting of
the Commission this morning.

Khurshid, who was asked about the controversy in
Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, said "This chapter is closed
now."

The EC had on 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.

In his letter, Khurshid wrote, "I feel disturbed with the
developments arising out of one of my statements made in the
course of the election campaign. It has also caused me equal
measure of sadness."

Contending that it has "never been my intention to
transgress the law or the model code of conduct," the Law
Minister said, "I have great respect for the Commission and
the decisions it takes and has taken."

He added, "I treat this matter as unfortunate and regret
this statement. I bow to the wisdom of the Election Commission
and remain personally committed to ensure that such situations
do not arise."

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 adherance 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 subquota 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 subquota stand, drawing the anger and
unprecedented action of the panel of writing to the President.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 13:31

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