Congress distances itself from Khurshid’s quota promise


New Delhi: The Congress Friday sought to distance itself from Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s promise on providing nine percent reservation to backward Muslims if the party is voted to power in Uttar Pradesh, saying queries on the issue should be directed to the minister.

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“If a person makes a statement in his individual capacity, the question should be put to him,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.

Alvi had Tuesday defended Khurshid’s remarks and said the party could increase the increase the sub quota for backward minorities within the existing other backward classes (OBC) quota in Uttar Pradesh in accordance with the promises made in party manifesto for 2009 general elections.

Khurshid’s announcement about quota to backward Muslims in Farrukhabad, where his wife Louise is in the fray in the forthcoming assembly polls, had led to strong protests from Bharatiya Janata Party and earned him a notice to him from Election Commission.

Khurshid said Friday he had no regrets about his quota promise as he had not done anything unlawful.

“No. Why should I regret? You regret when you do something unlawful,” he told reporters here, adding he had filed a reply to EC notice.

Alvi, meanwhile, backed government’s decision to provide 4.5 percent quota for minorities in the OBC quota which has been put on hold in the five poll bound states.

He said the decision had been taken before the Election Commission announced schedule of polls in the five states.

“It is unfortunate that Election Commission has put it on hold,” Alvi said, adding that the decision will be implemented after the polls in five states.