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Updated: February 19, 2012 01:12 IST

Now, EC show-cause on Beni Prasad

Special Correspondent
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Union Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma addresses at an election meeting in Faizabad on Friday. Photo: PTI
Union Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma addresses at an election meeting in Faizabad on Friday. Photo: PTI

It says the Union Steel Minister's ‘quota promise' violated the model code of conduct

The Election Commission (EC) has served notice on Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma to explain why action should not be taken against him for his statement on the intent of the Congress to provide job reservations to minorities and daring the Commission to act against him.

The Commission deemed it necessary to slap the show-cause on Mr. Verma even before the ink has dried on the apology letter of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid to the EC earlier in the week for his statements twice on the same subject.

‘Reply by Monday’

In its notice to Mr. Verma based on a copy of video recordings of an election rally in Uttar Pradesh addressed by the Minister, the Commission on Saturday said he had violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. The Minister has been given time till Monday 5 p.m. to explain his position.

Hours before the EC notice, at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Verna termed his statement “a slip of tongue.”

“I have been addressing four to five rallies everyday and sometimes I fail to pay attention that in which reference I am saying something,” he was quoted by the PTI as saying.

Mr. Verma had made the statement on reservations three days ago and challenged the Commission to take him on in the presence of Mr. Khurshid and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh.

The Commission noted that the Minister made the statement deliberately as he was “well aware that by making such utterances, he was violating the model code of Conduct.”

The notice has said if the Minister chooses to ignore it, the Commission will decide the matter without any further reference to him.

Unprecedented action

In an unprecedented action, the EC on February 11 petitioned President Pratibha Patil seeking her “immediate and decisive intervention” against the Law Minister for daring the Commission to ‘hang him' on the quota issue. The EC approached the President after Mr. Khurshid ignored its first warning.

The President had forwarded the EC complaint to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Curtains came down on the controversy after the Law Minister wrote to the Commission apologising for his statements.

‘EC being denigrated’

In a memorandum on Friday seeking action against the Steel Minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that the Union Ministers were carefully chosen to denigrate the Commission.

The party urged the Commission to consider measures more stringent than a mere censure such as prosecution and debarring from electioneering.

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Will an apology make a wrong thing right.The Congress leaders think that the Indian electorate are fools. There are several instances in the past those prove that the leadership of the Indian National Congress after 1969 had given scant regard to constitutional values in public life. Salman's and Beni Prasad's are the latest. Their written apology to the Commission is not enough. They should apologise to the nation through the national media like Doordarsan.

from:  A.M.NANU
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 23:27 IST

Silence on the part of congress shows it is no more a secular party.Incidents like this make us to believe that it is the most communal party of the country.

from:  Prateek Sinha
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 13:59 IST

Mr. Beni Prasad might have a slippery tongue, but clearly his conscience, if it exists, endorses what he said. His later explanantion proved it. And it does matter for a country and people to whom Beni Prasad claims to represent. Chief Election of the Republic of India must not have this occasion to slip without an exempleray punishment to Beni Prasad. As a citizen of India I have a right to demand CEC to act and act to set an example. Occasions to great acts do not come to all, and not always.

from:  Tarakanta Nayak
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 11:39 IST

Its a now or never for THE CEC . Either the EC teach the offender a good lesson & uphold the power of the EC or give a mere rap on the knuckle again & reduce the office of EC to a mere hapless constitutional authority forever . The statements being made and the defiance being demonstrated in front of the gullible electorate-is a well thought out & smart strategy of the Congress that will get repeated in future , if there is again only a weak response from the CEC .

Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 08:54 IST

Its a routine for these politicians to utter something and re-track if
it rebounds. Its a real tragedy that Union ministers goes to such levels
to garner popular vote and the PM just can't do as usual.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 22:56 IST

After delivering the highly objectionable speech at an election rally on the
reservation issue, the Minister Mr Verma, has now retracted saying that it was due to a "slip of the tongue" In the same breath, he states "he never utters anything that is not justified" which, by implication, would mean that his statement on the reservation issue was correct. This is just a clever ploy designed to wriggle out of a situation created by gross violation of the electoral law, after achieving the objective in view, and cannot hold water even for a moment. Now that the ball is in EC's court, it should, after due enquiries, immediately order the disqualification of his membership in the Parliament and removal from his ministerial post and thus restore the sanctity of the high office of EC, a body established under the Constitution.. The entire nation is watching with keen anxiety the outcome of this sordid drama being enacted at the behest of the Congress leadership.

Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 22:26 IST

The business of violating the law, then "saying slip of tongue",issuing apology must be stopped now. If this becomes acceptable to law enforcing agencies, the day is not far when terrorists will come out with "slip of hand",etc as an alibi. The toothless and pliable EC needs to be dumped if this is the best they can do; issue notices to union ministers,accept their apologies and let them go scotfree. We dont need a partisan EC which punishes some and lets other go scotfree, instead make our elections a free for all where everything goes;let the gloves come off. Any ways with the current arrangement only 1 party taking advantage of the communal statements while others are being punished.
Where is SC now, which took suo moto action against a particular state for communal crimes , is it sleeping, or are they waiting to be appointed as heads of commission on retiring. It's everyones duty to keep india free of this malaise called communalism.I am doing mine, are EC and SC doing theirs?

from:  Aniket Sinkar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 22:23 IST

Beni Prasad Verma (born 11 February 1941) is an Indian politician and presently a member of the Indian National Congress political party. Early he was with Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav.He has been criticized for his uncivilized language used by him in his public and personal life. He went on passing his foul language on Anti-Corruption crusader Mr. Anna Hazare and claiming him army deserter.Beni Prasad Verma dares EC says quota for Muslims will be hiked[1] : "Reservation for Muslims will be increased and if the EC wants, it can now issue notice to me," Verma said while addressing a rally at Kaimganj last night in the presence of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh and Union law minister Khurshid. He has a nice slippery tongue which has been certified by Digvijay Singh and Salman Khurshid which may be noted.

from:  mviyer
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 18:53 IST

Well thought strategy of the Congress.

Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 18:45 IST

I got a doubt whether EC is still alive in India?! Having eloborate
powers guaranteed under Indian Constitution the EC is admitting excuses
from political partymenan Nobody can tolerate. Take stubborn action
Disqualify them from contesting future elections.

from:  Ramamoorthy
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 18:41 IST

Congress leaders are making use of the weak response of CEC, India; this
not only giving them media coverage but also proving to be defiant. 'The
slip of tongue' by Verma and reiteration by Khursid definitely needs
some contempt notices to them, instead of solving them on basis of
personal apologies. CEC's luke-warm responses appears lobbying of INC

from:  Jagdish
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 17:57 IST

This is really mocking people of India. Slip of tongue? This is ridiculous! If this man has lost control over his tongue, he should be
medically treated for his sickness. Clearly he cannot be made an elected

from:  Gautam
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 17:10 IST

Since election commission has no power to punish any minister, it's face saving stand will be to buy this 'a slip of tongue' explanation, although the hon'ble minister realised this only after getting the Election Commission's notice. Lesson to be learnt, if you are toothless then accept it; only bark not bite. Pity EC.

from:  Awani Kumar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 17:06 IST

During the election campaign the violations of model code of conduct are slip of tongue and after the election when public confront them with their poll promises again they would without hesitation call those utterences also as slip of tongue. So the term'slip of tongue' is conveniently used by the politicians. The fate of the nation is suffering in the hands of these 'slip of tongue' polticians. No wonder, we are slipping in every sphere.

from:  Sridharan
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 16:31 IST

It is high time to take action against Mr.Beni Prasad Varma Steel Minister either by Prime Minister of India or President of India or Election Commission of India to terminate from his ministerial position and disqualify of his candidature against his remarks "if the EC wants, it can now issue a notice to me.” That Mr.Prasad Varma had deliberately and wilfully against the system and it resembles he has no respect about our Indian Constitution, Parliament as well as the policies of Election Commission of India, to evade the consequences otherwise it will go bad impact on our legal systems.

from:  srikanth
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 16:20 IST

This time EC must take a strict action against the offender

from:  vinayak
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 15:45 IST

What a slip, the roaring tiger bravado turning to a mousely squeaking! But surely the a flagrant trashing of the EC's legitimacy, spoken and witnessed by thousands, in apparent bold defiance, can't be a "slip of the tongue"? If indeed the tongue be so out of the brain's control then it calls into question the fitness of the person to be in office.

from:  KSK
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 15:34 IST

Congress is out to subvert all democratic institution if it does not suit its nefarious self interest. What a mockery of Election law by two cabinet ministers, first deliberatly violating the code of conduct and then saying they respect election commission! Yet another congress man that too President's son, smuggles 1 crore rupeees and when caught gives a story that is hard to believe. Election commission should take stringent action and see these culprits are severely punished. If not, the election commission will be reduced to another useless constitional body.-S Ramamurthi

from:  S.Ramamurthi
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 15:34 IST

Political parties have broken their code of conduct in the recent election campaigns in UP. Especially the congress have broken it clearly now. But they conveniently forget their responsibility towards the constitution. It is a shame for our constitution system. These leaders left the responsibility to follow the rules and regulations only to the common people.

from:  arunkumar
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 15:13 IST

Politics is the little resort for the power-hungry who find that there is no accountability either in legislature/media/judiciary and with the citizens. Last six decades have shown that they can get away and say anything they want and claim amnesia. It is high time they realize that silent and tolerant citizens were extraordinarily kind and sympathetic and giving them a chance every 5 years with a hope that the lot will change and the educated citizens are cynical and want the right to recall or reject rule 49-O in the ballot. Silent lot cannot be fooled all the time.

from:  J Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 14:37 IST

He thinks all are stupid to accept this explanation that too after Kurshid episode
They are trying to create that they want to tell but because of EC they cannot
He should be punished

from:  salam
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 14:30 IST

Openly defying constitutional body should not be tolerated.Media Needs to be active and should encourage Election commision to take strict action agaisnt such gunda type elements,who are unfortunatly sitting on such high ranks.If media remains silent and non thought provoking then this country has no future.

from:  Mayur Desai
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 14:30 IST

Really. I am wondering when our Politicians think before speaking.

from:  Saurabh
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 14:23 IST

First he dared the Election Commission to give notice to him and now he says he slipped his tongue. From the way the whole drama has been enacted it is very clear that these comments are part of a strategy which has got the endorsement of the Congress leadership. Beni Prasad might have been emboldened by the EC's decision to pardon Salman after he tendered apology which only came from his lips. Now again the EC may write to President and she may send it to PM and our PM as usual would not say anything on it and Beni would apologize and the matter would be over. So by doing this Congress has opened flood gates for all the politicians to challenge the authority of the Constitutional bodies. Now the only ray of hope is the Judiciary.

from:  V.Ramachandra Reddy
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 14:05 IST
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