EC puts 4.5 pc minority quota on hold in poll-bound states

Law Minister Salman Khurshid
New Delhi, Jan 12: The Election Commission asked the government to put on hold its decision on 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in five poll-bound states till election process ends there as a controversy raged over the issue.

"It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the Central Government has carved out 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities from within 27 per cent quota for OBCs in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and should be stopped by the Commission," the EC said in a statement.

The Commission said that while considering the matter, it 'took into account the fact that the decision was taken and announced' on December 22, last year, two days before the poll schedule was announced and the Model Code of Conduct went into force.

The EC, therefore, 'directed' the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training) that the Office Memorandum dated December 22, 2011, 'shall not be given effect to' in the poll-going states - Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh - 'until the completion of the election process in these states'.

The BJP had attacked the decision as aimed at influencing the voters in the coming assembly elections especially in Uttar Pradesh.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid went a step further when he announced in his wife Louise's constituency Farrukhabad that Congress, if voted to power in UP, would double the sub-quota to nine percent for OBC Muslims.


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