Debating India

OBC RESERVATION

A violation of the code, says EC

Sunday 9 April 2006, by VENKATESAN*J.

Announcement on quota for OBCs

Commission slaps notice on Cabinet Secretary Minister should explain by Monday

New Delhi: Taking suo motu action, the Election Commission on Saturday slapped a notice on the Cabinet Secretary, asking him to seek an explanation from Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh for announcing a 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in Central educational institutions. The Commission took a serious view of the Minister’s announcement of the quota in the government-funded IIMs and IITs and Central Universities as suggested in a Cabinet note under circulation.

The notice said the announcement, as widely reported in the media, "amounts to new concessions to certain sections of the electorate" in the poll-bound Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Pondicherry.

"It prima facie violates the model code of conduct." The Commission said the announcement had been made despite its March 1 clarification that the code would be applicable to the Union Government and to the States going to the polls.

The letter said "the explanation of Mr. Arjun Singh may be obtained and forwarded to the Commission by 5 p.m. on Monday for further necessary action."

See online : The Hindu

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