EC putting on hold subquota not a setback: Chidambaram

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Chidambaram
New Delhi, Jan 13: Rejecting the contention that the Election Commission's ordering a hold the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in 5 poll-bound states was a "setback", Home Minister P Chidambaram said the notification will remain operative for appointments and admissions made this year.

He said there was "nothing wrong" with the notification as it was made well before the model code of conduct went into force.

The Home Minister, however, declined to comment on Law Minister Salman Khurshid's announcement of Congress party's intent to give 9 percent reservation to minorities in Uttar Pradesh if the party came to power.

"No. I may not agree with a decision but it is not a setback...it is being put on hold for the period of elections that can only be untill the 6th of March. This notification came into force for recruitment in 2012.

"And even admissions and appointments are made under the new 4.5 percent out of 27 percent. That process will not be completed by 6th of March. By the time admissions are made or appointments are made, 6th of March will be behind us and therefore the notification will operate in admissions made and appointments made in 2012," Chidambaram told reporters here.

The Home Minister found nothing wrong in the decision taken by the union cabinet two days before the election schedule for the 5 states was announced and the code of conduct came into force.

"The notification was made well before the election programmes announced and well before the code of conduct came into force. Therefore, there was nothing wrong with the notification," Chidambaram said.

Asked why the decision was taken on the eve of elections, he asked how does he know when the announcement for elections is coming. The election schedule was annoucned two days after the decision was taken.

PTI

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