EC unlikely to press against Khurshid after his regret letter
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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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