New Delhi: Law Minister Salman Khurshid
on Sunday spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the
backdrop of Election Commission`s complaint against him to
President Pratibha Patil in which the panel accused him of
"improper and unlawful" defiance of its orders.
Sources close to the minister confirmed that Khurshid,
who is currently in Lucknow, had a telephonic talk with the
PM but it could not be known what transpired.
Acting swiftly on the complaint by the Election
Commission against Khurshid, the President had last night sent
it to the office of the Prime Minister for "appropriate
In an unprecedented step last night, the Commission
sought "immediate and decisive" intervention of the President
accusing the Law Minister of "improper and unlawful" defiance
of its orders under which he was censured for promising
sub-quota for minorities.
In a strongly-worded communication to Patil, the EC
said Khurshid`s action could "vitiate free and fair polls" in
Uttar Pradesh and that it was "perturbed because the
undermining of its Constitutionally-mandated duties has
come from the Law Minister who has direct responsibility to
uphold and strengthen the EC rather than to denigrate it".
The Commission took the unprecedented decision to
complain against a Union minister to the President after
Khurshid had told an election rally in UP earlier in the day
that he would continue to pursue the line on nine per cent
sub-quota for minorities `even if they (EC) hang me`.
Khurshid spoke to the PM on a day when
Congress virtually snubbed him for the controversy with party
general secretary and media department chief Janardan Dwivedi
underlining that all party men should "speak as per the norms
of public life and the law of the land".
BJP has demanded sacking of Khurshid and its ally JD(U)
said Khurshid should be banned from visiting Uttar Pradesh
while CPI(M) disapproved of his "defiant stance".