New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday hit out at Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid for ''disrespecting and challenging'' the Election Commission on the issue of minority reservation.
"Election Commission is the strongest pillar of our democracy. If we challenge Election Commission, if we question Election Commission, then we cannot have democracy in this country, we cannot have free and fair elections in this country," senior Samajwadi Party leader Shahid Siddiqui told mediapersons here.
"What Mr Salman Khurshid has done is not just talking about nine percent or four percent or whatever percentage of reservation, he is challenging the Election Commission in his speech by saying that ''let them hang me, let them do anything to me, I will say what I have to say.'' This is not the way for a Law Minister. He is not an ordinary person. If you want to behave like an ordinary politician of Uttar Pradesh, ordinary goon, then he should resign from his position as Law Minister," he added.
Siddiqui further accused Khurshid of misleading the Indians and the Muslims in particular on the issue of minority reservation.
"One of the main criticisms of Salman Khurshid is that he is not a true representative of the Muslims. Earlier he was opposed to the concept of reservations. He had opposed minority reservation in the past. He is supporting minority reservation now. Another thing, on which Salman Khurshid is fooling and cheating the Indian masses, Muslims and the people of Uttar Pradesh, is that the reservation is for Muslims," said Siddiqui.
"Reservations are granted to minority communities, but he says it is for Muslims. This reservation is not for Muslims. You are cheating the masses. You are giving political ammunition to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). You are hoodwinking the Muslims," he added.
The Election Commission last night sought the "immediate and decisive" intervention of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil after it charged n Khurshid with "improper and unlawful" defiance of its orders under which he was censured for promising sub-quota for minorities.
Siddiqui also came down heavily on Khurshid and the Congress Party over the controversial 2008 Batla House encounter issue.
"He is remembering Batla House now, after four years? His house is next to Batla House. He did not visit Batla House. He did not help those boys. Today, he says that Sonia Gandhi was crying after looking at those pictures (of the persons killed in the Batla House shootout). Which pictures is he talking of? In fact, his own party says he is lying," said Siddiqui.
"His party says Sonia Gandhi did not cry. I want to know from Sonia Gandhi whether she cried or not, I want to know from Digvijay Singh whether Salman Khurshid is a liar, and I want to known from Salman Khurshid why he is lying. Does he think that the people of this country, especially the Muslims of this country, can be taken for a ride?" he added.
Salman Khurshid had , during a rally speech at Azamgarh earlier this week raised up the controversial issue of Batla House encounter, and said Sonia Gandhi had tears in her eyes when she heard about it.
Batla House encounter officially known as Operation Batla House, took place on 19 September 2008, against suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, in which two suspected terrorist, Atif Amin and Mohamed Sajid were killed, while two other suspects Mohd Saif and Zeeshan were arrested, while one accused Ariz Khan managed to escape.
Encounter specialist and Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led the police action was also killed during the incident.