A day after closing the case against union law minister Salman Khurshid for his “sub-quota for minorities” comments, the Election Commission has another challenger on its hands — union minister for steel Beni Prasad Verma.
On Wednesday, campaigning for Khurshid’s wife Louise Khurshid, Verma said quota for Muslims will indeed be increased and dared the commission to send him a notice.
Louise is contesting from the Muslim-dominated Farrukhabad Sadar seat in UP, and while campaigning for her last week, the law minister, too, had promised to speak for the sub-quota.
“I fully endorse him (Khurshid) and can promise that the quota for Muslims will be increased when the Congress comes to power,” Verma said at a rally in Amritpur, with Khurshid and Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh at his side.
“If the Election Commission wishes, it can send me a notice too,” he said.
In Delhi, EC officials said they have the tapes of Verma's speech. An official indicated they might issue him a notice for violation of the model code of conduct.
On Wednesday, the EC had put a lid on the stand-off with Khurshid after he expressed regret over his "defiance" of the poll body. The Congress, apparently, is not too happy, though information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni denied an exact knowledge of Verma’s remarks.
She, however said, "Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi has said the language of our political discourse should be restrained and we should definitely respect constitutional bodies. This statement is applicable to me, to Beni Prasad Verma, Salman Khurshid and all of us."