Submits short summary of party's objection to the EC notice

After several hiccups last week, the Congress is now officially backing Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed on his election speech promise of nine per cent quota for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh — a promise that provoked a notice from the Election Commission (EC).

Ahead of the hearing before Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and the other two Election Commissioners, a Congress delegation, led by party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, met EC officials on Monday to place Mr. Khursheed's position on the issue before them.

After the meeting, Mr. Singhvi said that he had given them a “short and succinct summary” of the party's objection to the notice, adding: “We have given very strong points in view of the notice given to Salman Khursheed.”

Apart from the Khursheed issue, the Congress also took up issues of “misuse” of government machinery by the Bahujan Samaj Party in U.P. and complained about the role of some top officials, Mr. Singhvi said.

Leaders accompanying Mr. Singhvi included party general secretary in charge of U.P. Digvijaya Singh, Pramod Tewari and Rajeshpati Tripathi.

The meeting comes in the wake of the party distancing itself from Mr. Khursheed's remarks on Friday, describing them as his “individual” views, and doing a U-turn a day later, when it said it favoured an increase in the job quota for backward minorities in U.P., adding that it would feature in the party's manifesto, when it is released shortly.

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