NEW DELHI: A meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) on corruption did not discuss any proposal to take the model code of conduct out of the Election Commission's purview, the government said Wednesday after coming under attack from the opposition on the issue.
"The GOM did not discuss the poll model code of conduct as it is not in its terms of reference," Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayansamy told reporters after the GoM meeting here.
Following media reports Tuesday quoting a secret agenda note, which said the government wanted to make the EC's executive powers statutory, the opposition had voiced concerns against the move.
Defending the government, Narayansamy said "though suggestions on electoral reforms will come before the GOM", taking way the EC's executive powers is not in the terms of reference of the group.
"Hence the question of it being discussed today does not arise...it is a media creation," said Narayansamy.
He also said the GoM discussed several issues, including the procurement bill, which aims to make public procurements more transparent.
The bill, he said, would now go to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before it is placed before the cabinet.
The GoM on corruption is headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. It has Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal and Law Minister Salman Khurshid as its members.
The issue has become significant as Khurshid and Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma have been recently issued notice by the poll panel for violating the model code of conduct for offering a sub-quota to Muslims during the Uttar Pradesh election campaign.