With Law Minister Salman Khurshid raking up a controversy over “administrative control” of the Election Commission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured the poll body that the government was committed to upholding its functional autonomy guaranteed under the Constitution.
Mr. Khurshid said in a TV interview that the Law Ministry had control over the Election Commission, prompting Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi to write to the Prime Minister on December 29, last year.
Writing back to Mr. Quraishi on January 5, Dr. Singh has said, “Let me assure you that our government is fully committed to uphold the functional autonomy that the Constitution guarantees to the Election Commission.”
Mr. Quraishi, when asked about the exchange of letters on Friday, refused to discuss it but 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,” he said.
Mr. Khurshid, while making the statement, was talking in the context of Team Anna's objection to the CBI being retained under the government control under the Lokpal Bill when he said “every institution is under some control.”
This is the second time in recent days that Mr. Khurshid has drawn the EC's ire.
The Commission on Tuesday served show cause notice on the Minister for promising 9 per cent sub-quota for minorities in U.P. while campaigning for his wife Louise in Farrukhabad