Khurshid`s defends minority quota remarks before EC
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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.

PTI


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


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