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Explain OBC quota at election time: EC asks Arjun Singh

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) Taking strong exception to the Centre announcing a 27 per cent OBC quota in educational institutes, the Election Commission today sought Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's ''explanation'' within two days for trying to influence the voters in assembly poll-bound Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry in violation of the model code of conduct.

Maintaining that the announcement ''amounts to a new concession to certain sections of the electorate and prima facie violates the model code of conduct,'' the Commission asked Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi to obtain the Minister's explanation and forward it by 1700 hrs, April 10, for ''further necessary action''.

The commission said the quota for OBC students in central government funded educational institutes like IIMs and IITs and Central Universities, announced by Mr Arjun Singh had been reported widely by the electronic and print media.

The commission regretted that the concession had been made despite its clarification on March 1 while announcing the assembly elections that the model code ''is applicable to the Union Government also'' as far as the poll-bound states were concerned.

UNI SN RL DS1613

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