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Explain reservation proposal: EC to govt

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: April 09, 2006 00:15 IST
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The Election Commission of India has asked the Union cabinet secretary to explain why the government has announced a policy regarding reservations in academic institutions for the poor and the backward classes particularly when five crucial states of the Indian Union are in the midst of electing new state Assemblies.

Arjun Singh, minister for human resource development, had said the policy would apply to all institutions in the country including premier institutions like IITs, IIMs and medical courses.

The Election Commission has also asked the Haryana chief secretary to explain by 5 pm Saturday how the state government released an advertisement showing Sonia Gandhi along with the maps of the five polling states.

The directives were issued by the commission on Saturday morning after it was pointed out by the Bharatiya Janata Party that the reservation announcements and the Haryana government advertisement amounted to gross violation of the model code of conduct.

Speaking to, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, vice president of BJP, welcomed the decision of the commission and hoped that it would take a strict notice of the violations.

"We had complained to the commission on Friday about the reservation announcements by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh. We are pleased that the EC has taken cognisance of our complaint," he said.

Naqvi also wrote a two page letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging that the reservation announcements by the government were part of their vote bank politics to woo the voters who were moving away from the Congress party.

"I have said in my letter that their grand appeasement of the minorities and the backward communities is not doing good to talented students from India who have been selected for top jobs abroad. These policies would harm India's image abroad. It is a paper horse and is not going to help the Congress party to do well in the states, which are electing new Assemblies," Naqvi said.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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