New Delhi, Feb.20 (ANI): Union Steel Minister and senior Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma on Monday told the Election Commission that the minority quota remark was part of the party's poll manifesto for Uttar Pradesh.
Replying to a notice from the Election Commission, Verma said he had no intention to violate the Model Code of Conduct and expressed his regret if such an impression had been created.
Verma also said that he meant no disrespect the Election Commission.
Earlier, the Congress said that Verma held the Election Commission in the highest esteem.
"Certainly, the intent or effect (of what he said) of it was neither to vitiate any law nor to violate any code of conduct," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told media after a meeting with Verma.
Describing Verma as "a veteran politician", Singhvi said there was no question of slightest disrespect to the Election Commission intended or done in any manner because "I know Verma holds it (Election Commission) in the highest esteem".
Singhvi said that Verma would request the Election Commission to take a balanced view of the whole matter and make it clear that he did not intend to bring down the dignity of the poll panel even fractionally.
The Election Commission had issued a show cause notice to Verma on February 18, seeking clarification on his remarks on sub-quota for minorities.
At a rally in Farrukabad on February 15, Verma had said reservations for minorities must be increased and had dared the Election Commission to take action against him.
After elaborating on the "plight" of Muslims and the facilities that his party would provide to the community, Verma had specifically requested people to vote for the Congress.
The Commission, which had seen the video recording of Verma's rally, had said it was prima facie satisfied after seeing the footage that Verma had violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct. (ANI)
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