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Updated: January 14, 2012 02:21 IST

"I spoke as a political leader, not as a Minister"

J. Balaji
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Law Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: R.V.Moorthy
The HIndu Law Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: R.V.Moorthy

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid has denied that he had violated any provisions of the model code of conduct by stating that the Congress party, if it comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, would provide 9 per cent quota for minorities, particularly Muslims, within the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes.

In his reply, on Thursday, to the Election Commission's show-cause notice dated January 10, seeking his explanation for making such a statement “violating the model code,” Mr. Khurshid said he had only highlighted what was there in the Congress manifesto of 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Moreover, he had not spoken as a minister but as a political leader.

Sources in the Commission said the reply was likely to be placed before the full Commission — Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and Election Commissioners V.S. Sampath and H.S. Brahma — on Saturday for “appropriate decision.”

Mr. Khurshid had allegedly made the statement while speaking at an election rally in Farrukhabad in U.P., where his wife Louise Khurshid is contesting as the Congress candidate.

Justifying his statement, Mr. Khurshid said he was guided by the (Congress) party's principles and since the candidates were yet to file the nomination papers he wondered how it could amount to violation of the provisions of the model code.

The Commission, in its notice, issued on the basis of a complaint from the Bharatiya Janata Party, had stated that the Minister had made an announcement at an “election rally at Farrukhabad to the effect that the Congress would provide a quota of 9 per cent reservation to the minorities within the existing quota of 27 per cent for OBCs and that he had also indicated that Muslims would benefit from this move.”

The Commission pointed to the provisions of the model code of conduct for political parties/candidates, which says:

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 the purposes of its election campaign

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

The Commission had asked Mr. Khurshid to reply by 5 p.m. on January 12 “failing which it would be assumed that you have nothing to say in the matter and action as deemed fit would be initiated against you without any further notice to you.”

Earlier the Minister, interacting with the journalists here, denied that he had any regret for making such a statement. “No. Why should I regret? You regret when you do something unlawful.”

“We have to file a reply. How can you not file a reply? Yes, I have filed the reply,” he said to another question.

Ms. Khurshid has also been served a show-cause notice by the U.P. election authorities.

He is a minister and if he wants any reservation to be given, he could have given all these years. He can speak about this in Parliament, after all, all these months he has been saying Parliament is Supreme, and only it can bring up laws and not in a ground in front of the people. For instance, If somebody asks EC to hang him, and the next day if EC hangs them, will this guy dare to say these words? Do not play with people's emotion. They are bothered about Muslim votes, and not Muslim people. And these people are becoming ministers because they represent certain sect of people. And never do they want solution for any issue.

from:  Daily
Posted on: Feb 13, 2012 at 10:37 IST

Mr Habibullah - you have yourself said what is wrong with his
statement. You said "We shall educate and work hard". Do so, by all
means. He and his ilk have survived politically by providing
reservations for 60 years. Reservations were thought of by Dr Ambedkar
to make life better for the backward by adequate political
representation and educational opportunities, not as a political
weapon. Reservation alone, without providing basic amenities like
increased access to quality primary and secondary education, ICT, and
the necessities of life, cannot achieve anything other than resentment
among those who aren't entitled to reservations. That's what's wrong
with his statement!

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jan 14, 2012 at 18:09 IST

What is wrong in his statatement? Is anybody knows what is the status of Muslims in India,no representation from any side even less than 1% at all levels compared to 14% of Indian population. We shall educate and work hard to become economically forward to take these people, BJP who is working against the harmony of our living with our Hindu friends. Let us be united, instead of blaming others. Home Minister was also was on the receiving end, just because he found that Hindu militants are behind some of the blasts in India.

from:  Habibullah
Posted on: Jan 14, 2012 at 11:57 IST

So Mr Khurshid, you have split personalty!!! As a leader of what muslims or in the congress party? So every time you speak you clarify if you are speaking whether you are a leader of muslims or in cogress party OR as minister.Power goes into head and makes men do say and behave very strangely. Hope you know why you are in the ministry???

from:  chandrasekhara Ramanna
Posted on: Jan 14, 2012 at 08:53 IST

That's even worse. He knows full well that the quotas along religious
lines will only create even more resentment among non-Muslims and lead
to even more rift than there already is in the country. As a political
leader he should try to promote national unity, not appease Muslims!

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jan 14, 2012 at 04:36 IST
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