NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has censured Union Minister for Law and Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid for his remarks promising a nine per cent sub-quota to minorities from the 27 per cent OBC quota, while campaigning for his wife Louise, a Congress candidate from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, last month, calling it ‘a violation of the model code of conduct’.
The Express, in its edition dated February 4, had reported that the Union Minister was likely to be issued a warning in the wake of his Farrukhabad speech, upon which the BJP filed a complaint with the EC, alleging that the ‘minister had violated the model code of conduct’.
In his defence, Khurshid, through his counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, had made three points before the Election Commission - that the demand was very much a part of the Congress manifesto in the past; that he had made the speech as a Congressman and not as a minister; and that the promise was made to minorities and not Muslims.
In its 15-page order issued on Thursday, the EC said it was not convinced by either of Khurshid’s arguments.
“The Commission has come to the inescapable conclusion that shri Salman Khurshid made a new promise to a distinct targeted group of the electorate among the minorities that 9 per cent seats would be reserved for them out of the overall 27 per cent for the other backward classes,” said the EC in its order.