Mandal 2 muddle | india | Hindustan Times
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Mandal 2 muddle

The Election Commission on Saturday asked human resources minister Arjun Singh to explain why he violated the code of conduct by proposing reservations in educational institutions while five states were in the middle of polls. The EC said Singh?s Friday announcement ?amounts to new concessions to certain sections of the electorate? in the five states. It asked for an explanation by 5 pm on Monday.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 21:39 IST

EC sniffs poll code violation
The Election Commission on Saturday asked human resources minister Arjun Singh to explain why he violated the code of conduct by proposing reservations in educational institutions while five states were in the middle of polls.
The EC said Singh’s Friday announcement “amounts to new concessions to certain sections of the electorate” in the five states. It asked for an explanation by 5 pm on Monday.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam also made his views on the controversial proposal known. At an immunization function at Rashtrapati Bhawan, he remarked his “mission is to increase the number of seats in the institutions of higher learning so that reservations become irrelevant and the problem is solved”.

Amidst speculation that Kalam was being critical of the proposal, his spokesman clarified the President hadn’t opposed reservations specifically.

Attempting a balancing act, the BJP said the proposal would “discourage merit and damage India’s reputation as a talent hub”. The proposal was the result of Congress’s “intra-party war” and “one-upmanship” against the PM, the BJP said.
In Kolkata, Congress general secretary Margaret Alva admitted bright students would be affected.