The Election Commission on Wednesday put a lid on the standoff with law and minorities affairs minister Salman Khurshid after he expressed regrets over his "defiance" of the poll body over his remarks on subquota for minorities in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh.
The Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi and two Election Commissioners VS Sampath and HS Brahma, met and reviewed the matter in the light of the "regret" letter received from Khurshid and decided not to pursue the matter against him any further in the light of his "clear change of position".
The EC had petitioned President Pratibha Patil seeking her "immediate and decisive intervention" against Khurshid who had stuck to his ground on the quota issue despite his censure by the poll body.
"Based on the minister's clear change of position as conveyed directly to the Commission, it has been decided not to take any further action in the matter," the Commission said in a statement after deliberating on the issue.
The EC on Wednesday noted the minister underlining his respect for the decision taken by it in the particular case of model code of conduct violation by him and that he had recorded his commitment to ensure that such situations did not arise in future.
Khurshid had, in his letter to the Commission, said he "bows to the wisdom of EC" and regretted his remarks which were seen by the poll body as "defiance" and "contemptuous" of the constitutional body.
The Commission felt that its concern was regarding the minister's approach towards the issue in hand which could have implications on the ongoing elections in Uttar Pradesh and the conduct of free and fair elections in future, besides on the overall Constitutional design.
The EC said the primary purpose of the model code of conduct is to prevent wrongdoings in electoral field and make sure its compliance is foolproof in the current elections as also in future.
"In this particular case, it was incumbent upon the Commission to address and resolve the spillover of larger issues rather than taking any other measure," the Commission said in a statement in support of its stand.
In his letter to the EC, Khurshid had said "I feel disturbed with the developments arising out of one of my statements made in the course of the election campaign. It has also caused me equal measure of sadness."