EC asks Verma to justify sub-quota remark

Steel Minister has been asked to 'explain', by Monday 5 pm, why action should not be taken against him

The Election Commission on Saturday issued notice to Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and said it was evident that the Congress leader "deliberately and willfully" made the sub-quota remark.

In its notice, the commission said the model code of conduct clearly specifies that "there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes".

The poll panel said it had obtained the copy of the video recording, which shows that the Union Minister violated the model code of conduct during an election meeting.

".... having seen it (video recording, we are) prima facie satisfied that Beni Prasad Verma has violated the provisions of the model code of conduct and it is evident from the statements that he was well aware that he was violating the model code of conduct and yet he deliberately and wilfully did the same," the commission said in its notice. Verma has been asked to "explain", by Monday 5 pm, why action should not be taken against him.

Addressing a political rally on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district, Verma said, "Muslims don't have their homes; they don't have jobs and 70 per cent of them work as labourers.

Non-Congress governments in the state have not done anything for their betterment." Verma also dared the poll panel to take action against him for his quota comments.

A BJP delegation on Friday complained to the commission against Verma and sought stringent action against him for promising sub-quota for Muslims if his party was voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.

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