New Delhi: Undeterred by the opposition attack over its promise to provide 9% reservation to Muslims, Congress on Thursday said that there is no change in its stand on the minority quota issue and its leaders will meet the poll panel on the same.
Speaking to reporters in the national capital, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, “Congress party sticks to its stand of providing 9% sub-quota for backward Muslims.”
In a direct attack on the Election Commission, Alvi said, “The poll panel can put on hold the quota decision only till Assembly Elections are concluded. Once that is over, we will fulfill our promise of providing 9% sub-quota for Muslims in the state if the Congress is voted to power.”
Reacting to main opposition BJP’s claim that Congress is trying to divide the country on religious basis, 60 years after its divisive policies led to the partition of the country, Alvi said, “Those who say this don’t know about the Congress party’s contribution to the country’s struggle for independence. They must get their basics correct before making such comments.”
Alvi further informed the reporters that senior Congress leaders will meet the Election Commission to clarify party’s position on the minority quota issue.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid recently made a statement, on the campaign trail, promising a 9% sub-quota for Muslims in the state if the Congress was voted to power.
The issue has since snowballed into a major controversy and the main opposition BJP attacked Congress over its Muslim quota plank and accused the ruling party of dividing the country by promising to give religion-based reservation.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, BJP’s firebrand leader Uma Bharti said, “Congress party’s decision to give 9% reservation to the minority community is a purely politically move, which has been announced in view of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.”
Steeping in the row, the Election Commission also served a show-cause notice to Khurshid and his wife over their promise to give 9% reservation to Muslims.
The Law Minister will reply to it today.
Khurshid also condemned the poll panel for issuing a notice to him and claimed that he did not violate the model code of conduct.
Defending himself, Khurshid said his promise of granting sub-quota to Muslims if Congress came to power in Uttar Pradesh is not a poll violation of any sorts.
In a significant development, the Election Commission yesterday 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.