New Delhi: Even as Law
Minister Salman Khurshid "bowed" to the "wisdom" of the Election
Commission and regretted his remarks on sub-quota for backward
sections of minorities in Uttar Pradesh, the case will be decided
only after word from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, highly placed
sources in the poll panel said.
"The fact is the Election Commission censured Khurshid for his
speech. It then formally wrote to the president and the president
forwarded the complaint to the prime minister," a senior official
privy to the developments said.
"It is only prudent that the Election Commission will wait to see
what the prime minister has to say," the official told IANS,
adding: "So far the commission has not heard from the prime
"I treat this matter as unfortunate and regret the statement. I
bow to the wisdom of the Election Commission and remain personally
committed to ensure that such situations do not arise," Khurshid
said in a letter sent to the Election Commission Monday and
released by the panel Tuesday.
Congress circles have been hoping that the commission may treat
the issue as closed following Khurshid's letter, while the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued its demand that Khurshid be
"Just a regret should not be accepted. Either he (Khurshid) should
apologise to the people and the commission for making misleading
promises and provocative statements or he should be sacked,"
Balbir K. Punj, spokesperson of the BJP told reporters.
Khurshid said in his letter: "It was never been my intention to
transgress the law or the model code of conduct. I have great
respect for the commission and the decisions it takes and has
"As responsible citizens of this country, it is our obligation to
promote the spirit of law, its adherence and enforcement."
"This is the ethos on which I have woven my entire life and am
committed to the Election Commission's effort towards the conduct
of a free and fair election process," the letter said.
Stating that he "feels disturbed with the developments arising out
of one of my statements made in the course of the election
campaign," Khurshid said: "It has also caused me equal measure of
The Election Commission had censured Khurshid for his speech
regarding nine percent job quotas for minorities. He was
addressing a poll meeting at Farrukhabad, where his wife Louise
Khurshid, is the Congress candidate in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh
Even after the commission, following complaints from the
opposition parties, censured Khurshid for the speech, the minister
stood by the statement and said he was ready to be hanged for it.
The Election Commission then wrote to President Pratibha Patil
that the tone and tenor of the minister was utterly contemptuous.
"We have found the tone and tenor of the union minister dismissive
and utterly contemptuous about the Commission's lawful direction
to him, besides the fact that his action is damaging the level
playing field in the election," the Election Commission said in
its letter to the president.
The president forwarded the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan