Quota row: Khurshid writes to EC, expresses regret

Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday night sought to cap the stand-off with the Election Commission over his Muslim sub-quota remarks.

New Delhi: Seeking to end the row with the
Election Commission, over his Muslim sub-quota remark, Law Minister Salman
Khurshid has expressed regret, saying it was never his
intention to transgress the law and undermine the poll code of

In a letter delivered to the EC midnight on Monday,
Khurshid said that he "bows to the wisdom of EC" and has given
his commitment to ensure that such a situation does not arise

Khurshid`s letter came close on the heels of Congress
disapproving his comments against the EC, saying that "people
occupying posts of responsibility should speak responsibly".

"I treat this matter as unfortunate and regret the
statement...it has never been my intention to transgress the
law and undermine the election code of conduct. I have great
respect for the Commission and the decisions it takes and has
taken...," Khurshid said in his short communication.

In an unprecedented move, the EC had on Saturday written
a letter to President Pratibha Patil seeking her intervention
on Khurshid`s alleged defiance of the poll body`s censure of
his remarks promising to double job sub-quota for Muslims
which the EC found violative of the model of conduct.

Even after the EC`s censure, the Law Minister told an
election meeting in Farrukhabad that he would continue to
fight for Muslim sub-quota even "if they (EC) hang me".

The President had forwarded the letter to the office of
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Law Minister met Singh and
explained his position.

In his letter to EC, Khurshid said he was "disturbed with
the developments arising out of one of my statements" made in
the course of electioneering in Uttar Pradesh.

He added that "it has caused me an equal measure of

The minister said he was committed to EC`s authority as a
constitutional body and said that he bows to the wisdom of the
EC and will remain committed to ensure that such a situation
does not arise again.

The CEC found the tone and tenor of the remarks of
Khurshid "as utterly contemptuous and dismissive" of the
Election Commission and damaging to the level-playing field"
in Uttar Pradesh assembly election and sought "immediate and
decisive" intervention of the President.

Khurshid`s sub-quota 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 sub-quota stand, drawing the anger of the panel.


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