Verma's Salman act worries Congress | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Verma's Salman act worries Congress

delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2012 23:50 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The Congress is disturbed over the growing confrontation between its senior ministers and the Election Commission (EC) on the reservation for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

After law minister Salman Khurshid, it was the turn of Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma to challenge the poll panel on the issue of sub-quota for Muslims.

Though the Congress wants its leaders to speak as per the norms of public life and the law of the land, the party is finding it difficult to explain the open defiance of the election commission directive by its two senior ministers.

There was a clear disapproval of such a tendency by a section in the party.

"We function under democracy and the language of our political discourse should be restrained…we should definitely respect constitutional bodies….this is applicable to me, to Beni Prasad Verma, Salman Khurshid and all of us," said information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni.

In an attempt to put a lid on Khurshid-EC row, senior Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi had clearly spelt out the party line a few days ago.

"EC is a constitutional body. We want all Congressmen should speak as per the norms of public life and the law of the land," he had said.

Political observers see the quota remarks as a desperate attempt by the Congress to win over Muslims, who constitute 18% of the total population in UP and are deciding factor in around 130 seats out of the total 403.

But another section in the Congress apprehends that the move could backfire and antagonise the other communities, who are equally important for the party's revival in UP.

"We need to maintain a fine balance and not go overboard in appeasing one and antagonising others," a senior party functionary said.