New Delhi : Seeking to end the row with the EC over his Muslim sub-quota remark, Law Minister Salman Khurshid has expressed regret, saying it was never his intention to transgress the law and undermine the poll code of conduct.
In a letter delivered to the EC midnight on Monday night, Khurshid said that he “bows to the wisdom of EC” and has given his commitment to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.
Khurshid’s letter came close on the heels of Congress disapproving his comments against the EC, saying that “people occupying posts of responsibility should speak responsibly”.
“I treat this matter as unfortunate and regret the statement…it has never been my intention to transgress the law and undermine the election code of conduct. I have great respect for the Commission and the decisions it takes and has taken…,” Khurshid said in his short communication.
In an unprecedented move, the EC had on Saturday written a letter to President Pratibha Patil seeking her intervention on Khurshid’s alleged defiance of the poll body’s censure of his remarks promising to double job sub-quota for Muslims which the EC found violative of the model of conduct.
Even after the EC’s censure, the Law Minister told an election meeting in Farrukhabad that he would continue to fight for Muslim sub-quota even “if they (EC) hang me”.
The President had forwarded the letter to the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Law Minister met Singh and explained his position.
In his letter to EC, Khurshid said he was “disturbed with the developments arising out of one of my statements” made in the course of electioneering in Uttar Pradesh.
He added that “it has caused me an equal measure of sadness”.
The minister said he was committed to EC’s authority as a constitutional body and said that he bows to the wisdom of the EC and will remain committed to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.
The CEC found the tone and tenor of the remarks of Khurshid “as utterly contemptuous and dismissive” of the Election Commission and damaging to the level-playing field” in Uttar Pradesh assembly election and sought “immediate and decisive” intervention of the President.
Khurshid’s sub-quota remarks were first made during a rally in support of his wife Louise who is contesting as a Congress candidate in Farrukhabad.
On Saturday night, the Law Minister had at another rally stuck to his sub-quota stand, drawing the anger of the panel.