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Khurshid's sub-quota remarks row: BJP demands answers from PM, Congress

New Delhi, Fri, 10 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Kanpur, Feb 10 (ANI): With the Election Commission censuring Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid for his remarks on sub-quota for minorities, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought an explanation from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the Congress Party on the issue.


"Both the Congress Party and the Prime Minster must clarify whether it was personal opinion of one of the important ministers or it is the opinion of the Congress Party and this government," senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told mediapersons here.


"If it is a personal opinion of a minister and not the opinion of the government, then it is a fit case for his dismissal from the council of ministers," he added.


Congress leader Pramod Tiwari, however, defended the statement made the Law Minister.


"He had a dual role. He is Law Minister in the Government of India and chairman of the manifesto drafting committee (of the Congress Party). I welcome whatever he said as the chairman of the manifesto committee," Tiwari told mediapersons in Kanpur.


"As far the Election Commission's decision is concerned, I also welcome it which was based on the facts before it. But I think many poor people will benefit from the reservation," he added.


Khurshid, while campaigning for his wife Louise, a Congress candidate from Farrukhabad assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh, had promised the electorate last month that the party would increase the sub-quota for minorities to nine per cent, out of the 27 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation.


According to the Election Commission, Khurshid violated the Model Code of Conduct by making promise of nine percent sub-quota for minorities and that it expects him not to repeat such violations.


The poll panel said that being the law minister of the country, Khurshid should have been more careful and set an example for others.


The Election Commission had earlier issued notice to Khurshid on a complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that he violated the model code of conduct by announcing nine percent sub-quota for Muslims if the party was voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.


Following the statement by Khurshid, the BJP had been criticizing the Congress Party for announcing such assurances of increase in Muslim reservation right ahead of the polls. (ANI)


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