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Under attack, Khurshid calls PM to clarify on comment
New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday sought to distance itself from Law Minister Salman Khurshid after the poll panel complained to the president about his defiance on a quota for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought his sacking for indulging in communal politics.
Khurshid also spoke to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on telephone from Lucknow but there was no official word what transpired between the two amid reports tonight he clarified he had not violated the EC directive.
There were also reports that the Prime Minister may convene a meeting of his senior ministers on Monday to discuss the Khurshid row.
A day after Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi wrote to President Pratibha Patil saying the poll panel found Khurshid’s latest remarks “utterly contemptuous about the commission’s lawful direction to him”, a cautious Congress said it expected the Law Minister to follow law of the land.
Avoiding a direct comment, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal meanwhile urged the poll panel to be concerned over things happening in Uttar Pradesh.
Seeking Khurshid’s removal from the Cabinet, the BJP blamed the Congress for playing communal politics in desperation.
“PM should take action against Khurshid without losing any time and seek his resignation immediately,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters in Varanasi.
“If Salman doesn’t quit, then he should be sacked. PM should ask the president to sack him,” she said.
The poll panel had on Thursday censured Khurshid over his promise for nine percent quota for minorities including backward Muslims from the 27 per cent OBC quota if Congress is voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.
On Friday, Khurshid triggered a fresh controversy saying he will ensure rights to backward Muslims even if he is ‘hanged’ by the poll panel. (Agencies)