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Updated: January 12, 2012 03:39 IST

EC halts minorities sub-quota in five poll-bound States

J. Balaji
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The Hindu "To ensure a free and fair poll and to provide equal opportunities to all political parties and candidates, the minority quota has been put on hold", the Election Commission said on Wednesday. File photo: R.V. Moorthy

To ensure free and fair elections

The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered the Union Ministry of Personnel not to give effect to the December 22, 2011 office memorandum, providing a 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities within the 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes in Central government jobs and educational institutions, in the five poll-bound States.

The direction will be applicable until after the completion of the Assembly election process in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

The EC took into account the fact that the decision on sub-quota was announced by the Centre on December 22, before the model code came into force, i.e. on December 24, when the poll schedule was announced.

The EC said it was brought to its notice that the order had been issued in violation of the model code, and that it took the decision to ensure a free and fair poll.

Model code

Sources in the EC drew attention to the Sections in the model code relating to parties, candidates and the State/Central governments. Para 1(3): There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.

Para VII: The party in power, whether at the Centre or in the State or States concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for purposes of its campaign.

Para VII (vi): From the time elections are announced, Ministries and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof ......, which may have the effect of influencing voters in favour of the party in power.

Many parties, particularly the BJP, had strongly opposed the Cabinet decision and said the announcement was made as an inducement to Muslims, who are in sizable numbers in Uttar Pradesh. The decision would benefit Muslims more than other minorities as there were many Muslim communities designated as OBCs, the parties said.

This is a very good decision which has exposed Congress for it was indulging in such vote bank politics. Next, we should repeal Minority Quota in all states, forever, because it is against the spirits of our constitution.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 18:41 IST

Before poll parties used to issue manifestos where they promised nothing short of heaven. Naturally ruling party can also issue such manifesto. So what it is the difference in announcing in manifesto and a government proclamation for a ruling party. Further once it is announced the mischief is done. Making an order by the EC has no meaning as the voters now it. Of course the intelligent voters know that it is all empty promises also.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 09:31 IST

Thanks, EC. He is doing a great Job. If only CBI was doing a proper job like our EC, Mr.Qureshi, then most of the Politicians especially the UPA affiliated ones will be in Jail and our poor people would have seen improvement in quality of their lives. It is a pity the UPA ministers who take a oath of trust not to cheat the people but engage constantly in cheating the public and minorities support Congress for short term gains not realising UPA is looting the country and put the entire country to shame in CWG.

from:  moh
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 08:41 IST

This is a welcome move by the Election Commission of India. Our COnstitution says that votes should not be given because the person belongs to say, our caste or religion etc, but to that person who would uplift the condition of the people. Since we hardly see any of the like, the politicians try to mould the sentence in such a way that it sounds that votes are not being asked in the name of religion or caste, but in reality they are. Even a child can tell that creating a sub-quota is a political move to win the election, if the Congress party was so much concerned about the minorities then why did they not propagate it earlier?

from:  Aiman Reyaz
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 06:41 IST

The election commissioner it seems is of a different mettle compared to other mandarins in the secretariat. Surely he is in the model of early EC MR SESHAN. Persons like him only can pump a bit of sense to the heads of other bureaucrats. Keep it up sir, BUT the liquor and money openly distributed by the candidates eludes you!!!

from:  chandrasekhara Ramanna
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 03:40 IST
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