Law Minister Salman Khurshid has ruffled feathers in the Election Commission by stating that his Ministry had administrative control over the poll body, prompting its chief S Y Quraishi to complain to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mr. Khurshid had recently said in a TV interview that the Law Ministry has control over the Election Commission to the extent that it signs documents related to travel of the Election Commissioners.
He was talking in the context of Team Anna’s objection to CBI being retained under government control under the Lokpal Bill when he said “every institution is under some control”.
Taking strong exception to these comments, Mr. Quraishi has complained to the Prime Minister that Khurshid had tried to undermine the authority of the Election Commission, which is a Constitutional body, EC sources said.
Without going into the issue of his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Quraishi on Friday dismissed suggestions that it was getting personal between him and Mr. Khurshid. “It is a very ridiculous idea. We are friends otherwise, personally. It is just an institutional issue.”
This is the second time in recent days that Mr. Khurshid has drawn the EC’s ire.
The Commission had on Tuesday served show cause notice on the minister for promising 9 per cent sub—quota for minorities in UP while campaigning for his wife Louise in Farrukhabad on Sunday.
The minister had denied having violated the Model Code of Conduct, saying the promise was made by the Congress in its manifesto released in the run—up to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.