New Delhi, Jan 10: Law Minister Salman Khurshid's promise to provide nine per cent sub-quota for backward Muslims if voted to power in UP evoked sharp reactions from BJP, which took it up with the Election Commission saying it was a "violation" of the model code of conduct.
Khurshid hit back, saying that while the BJP talks of building Ram Temple, he was only referring to the party's election manifesto.
A BJP delegation led by its vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said after meeting the EC today that "The Congress is trying to create communal tension in Uttar Pradesh and country by announcing rise in the sub-quota for Muslims. The announcement made by Law Minister is in violation of the model code of conduct and is unconstitutional.
"We will not allow anyone to snatch or grab away the rights of backward classes. BJP will not allow the Congress or BSP to play the caste card and try to divide the public on the basis of caste and religion".
Khurshid rejected the BJP's claim, saying such a scheme has been already implemented in Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
"It means that we should not bring out a manifesto, not deliver a speech and sit back at home and elections should be held without all these...They can talk of building Ram Temple and we are only referring to a provision which is already there," said Khurshid.
When pointed out that a similar scheme was introduced by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Khurshid said then BJP should first complain to its ally on the issue. "He is the chief minister of a state and he understands the ground reality and we want to do the same in Uttar Pradesh."