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Muslim quota row: 'I respect Election Commission', says Verma

New Delhi, Mon, 20 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 20 (ANI): Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, who has been summoned for his remarks on giving a sub-quota for minorities, on Monday said that he respects the Election Commission, and added that he will put forward his views before the apex poll body.


"I am going to put forward my views. I respect the Election Commission," Verma told the media here, when asked whether he was firm on his earlier views.


The Election Commission had earlier on Saturday issued notice to Verma over his remarks on sub-quota for minorities.


The Election Commission, which examined the video recordings of Verma's speech made at a rally in Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, further said: "It is evident from the above statements of Shri Beni Prasad Verma that he was well aware that by making such utterances, he was violating the model code of conduct and yet he deliberately and willfully did the same."


The Union Steel Minister has been asked to explain his position by 5 p.m. today, as to why action should not be taken against him for violating the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.


Beni Prasad Verma is the second Union Minister after Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid to be issued notice by the Election Commission for poll code violation over the sub-quota remarks.


Addressing a rally in Farrukhabad earlier this month, Verma said: "We will make sure that enhanced reservation is given to backwards and the minorities if the Congress Party comes to power in Uttar Pradesh."


Earlier, Law Minister Salman Khurshid had promised an increase of nine per cent sub-quota for Muslims within the 27 percent reservation meant for Other Backward Classes (OBC).


The Election Commission thereafter issued a notice to Khurshid, saying his remarks had violated the Model Code of Conduct.


However, the Election Commission put a lid on the standoff after Khurshid expressed regret for his defiance of the poll body. (ANI)


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