New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday directed the government to put on hold the decision on 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in five poll-bound states till election process ends there, taking cognisance of objections to the step.

"It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the Central Government has carved out 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities from within 27 per cent quota for OBCs in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and should be stopped by the Commission," the EC said in a statement.

The Commission said that while considering the matter, it "took into account the fact that the decision was taken and announced" on December 22, last year, two days before the Model Code of Conduct came into force.

The EC, therefore, "directed" the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions (Department of Personnel & Training) that the Office Memorandum dated December 22, 2011, "shall not be given effect to" in the poll-going states -- Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh -- "until the completion of the election process in these states".

There have been complaints that the decision of the Union Cabinet could influence voters in these states as it came just ahead of the announcement of poll dates.