New Delhi/Lucknow: Law Minister Salman Khurshid was on Tuesday caught in a raging controversy over his promise for a nine per cent sub quota for backward Muslims with the BJP complaining to the Election Commission which slapped a show cause notice to his wife, a Congress candidate in Farrukhabad Assembly consituency in Uttar Pradesh. READ MORE: EC notice puts Congress on defensive
A BJP delegation headed by Mukhtar Abnbas Naqvi, MP, met Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and demanded action against Khurshid for making the promise at an election meeting in support of his wife, Louise, accusing him of violating the Model Code of Conduct and Constitution.
Naqvi said seeking votes in the name of religion was a violation of election laws.
However, Khurshid rejected charges against him claiming he was only referring to the party's election manifesto while campaigning for Louise.
The minister hit back at BJP saying the party was following double standards because it claims right to promise construction of a Ram temple.
Acting on BJP's complaint and taking cognisance of the Law Minister's promise, the election authorities served a show-cause to his wife to explain within three days the statements made by her husband while campaigning in her favour.
Farrukhabad District Electoral Officer Sachchidanand Dubey said"a show cause notice has been served on Louise Khurshid by the Returning Officer for Farrukhabad Assembly constituency Ashok Kumar Lal".
The Congress party went on the defensive on the EC notice served on Khurshid's wife over his quota remarks and said it respected the election body's decision.
The Law minister while campaigning in Farrukhabad had on Sunday promised to the electorate that if Congress is voted to power in the state it would enhance the sub-quota to Muslims to 9 per cent within the 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi, who faced a volley of questions from mediapersons over the show cause notice said the Election Commission is a Constitutional body and the party respected its decision.
He said, "If the Election Commission feels that it is not appropriate time to make the announcement (by Salman Khurshid), it is well within its authority. We do not comment on EC orders. We also advise other parties not to comment on EC orders."
The Congress party in its manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections had promised to give reservation to backward Muslims and implement the Sachar Committee report and the Rangnath Mishra Committee report on minorities.
Naqvi said after meeting the CEC today that "The Congress is trying to create communal tension in UP and the country by announcing increase in the sub-quota for Muslims. The announcement made by Law Minister is in violation of the model code of conduct and is unconstitutional, he said.
"We will not allow anyone to snatch or grab away the rights of backward classes. BJP will not allow the Congress or BSP to play the caste card and try to divide the people on the basis of caste and religion".
Khurshid rejected BJP's charge saying such a scheme has already been implemented in Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
"It means that we should not bring out a manifesto, not deliver a speech and sit back at home and elections should be held without all these. They can talk of building Ram Temple and we are only referring to a provision which is already there," said Khurshid.
New Delhi/Lucknow: Law Minister Salman Khurshid was on Tuesday caught in a raging controversy over his promise for a nine per cent sub quota for backward Muslims with the BJP complaining to the Election Commission which slapped a show cause notice to his wife, a Congress candidate in Farrukhabad Assembly consituency in Uttar Pradesh.
READ MORE: EC notice puts Congress on defensive