Khurshid writes to CEC, seeks to end standoff

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Salman Khurshid
New Delhi, Feb 13: Law Minister Salman Khurshid sought to cap the stand-off with the Election Commission over his Muslim sub-quota remarks by writing a letter to the poll body in which he is understood to have said that he has all the respect for the constitutional authority.

In the letter written to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, Khurshid said the controversy created by his remarks was "unintentional", sources said. The letter by Khurshid to the CEC came a day after Congress party went public disapproving of his confrontation with the EC. Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi had said yesterday that EC is a constitutional body and the party wanted all Congressmen to speak "as per norms of public life and law of the land".

In obvious disapproval of Khurshid's spat with the Election Commission, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Allahabad that Congress has made it clear that "people occupying posts of responsibility should speak responsibly".

In an unprecedented move, the EC had on Saturday written a letter to President Pratibha Patil seeking her intervention on Khurshid's alleged defiance of the poll body's censure of his remarks promising to double job subquota for Muslims which the EC found violative of the model of conduct.

Even after the EC's censure, the Law Minister reportedly told an election meeting in Farrukhabad that he would continue to fight muslims subquota even "if they (EC) hang me". The CEC found the tone and tenor of the remarks of Khurshid "as utterly contemptuous and dismissive" of the Election Commission and damaging to the level-playing field" in Uttar Pradesh assembly election and sought "immediate and decisive" intervention of the President.

Khurshid's subquota remarks were first made during a rally in support of his wife Louise who is contesting as a Congress candidate in Farrukhabad. On Saturday night, the Law Minister had at another rally stuck to his subquota stand, drawing the anger of the EC.

PTI

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