NEW DELHI: After Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s representative Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared before the Election Commission of India (EC) on Friday, the EC asked them to come for another hearing on March 3, when the complainant - the BJP - will also be called.
They (the Congress side) made their representation today (Friday). We have called them again on March 3, when the BJP representatives, who are the complainants, will also be called,” Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told the Express.
The Election Commission had issued a show-cause notice to Khurshid for having declared that his party would provide nine per cent sub-quota to minorities from the existing 27 per cent reservation meant for the OBCs if the Congress was voted to power in Uttar Pradesh. He had made the remarks while campaigning for his wife Louise Khurshid in Farrukhabad in UP.
The Law Minister, who was initially supposed to appear before the Commission, did not turn up and instead his legal adviser and Congress spokesperson Singhvi, aided by a battery of lawyers, appeared before the panel.
The Singhvi-led team argued that Khurshid had spoken as a Congress leader and not as a Union Minister. They also said the sub-quota reference was to minorities and not Muslims alone.
They further added that similar pronouncements had been a part of the Congress manifesto in 2002 and 2007 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and 2009 general elections.
The hour-long meeting was also marked by questioning by the Commission members.