New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday directed the government to put its decision on 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities -- within the OBC quota -- on hold for the five poll bound sates till the election process ends.
"It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the Central Government has carved out 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities from within 27 per cent quota for OBCs in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and should be stopped by the Commission," the Election Commission said in a statement.
The Commission said that while considering the matter, it took into account the fact that the decision was taken and announced" on December 22, last year, two days before the poll schedule was announced and the Model Code of Conduct went into force.
The Union Cabinet had approved 4.5% sub-quota to minorities under the Other Backward Castes (OBC) category ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in five states. The reservation is meant for minorities in government jobs and educational institutions as defined in section 2 (C) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) are notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the Act.
The government decision on the quota within quota was based on the recommendation of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
Going a step further, Law Minister Salman Khurshid had announced in his wife Louise`s constituency Farrukhabad that Congress, if voted to power in UP, would double the sub-quota to nine percent.
BJP had moved the Election Commission alleging that Khurshid violated the Model code of conduct.
The Uttar Pradesh election authorities had served a show-cause notice to Louise Khurshid.
Khurshid, however, maintained he had not violated the model code of conduct.
The controversial issue of minority reservation has stirred animated debates. As the debate gets bitter, the BJP has hit at the Congress-led UPA terming the move as “an attempt for India’s second partition.”
However, the Congress hit back saying that the saffron party is spreading “communal poison”.