With its manifesto in Uttar Pradesh remaining silent on the exact percentage of Muslim sub quota, Congress on Wednesday suggested the announcement of nine per cent reservation to backward minorities by Law Minister Salman Khurshid was his personal view.
"He (Khurshid) is a minister. He has expressed his views. Being a minister, he can give his views on many issues.
"But when all these views are merged together and a conclusive opinion is given in the party's manifesto, then it becomes authorized statement of the party and a commitment to the people of that state," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters at the All India Congress Committee briefing.
He said there was "no contradiction" in these two things but insisted "Congress party has put its official statement (of promises) before the people of the state through the manifesto."
He was responding to questions on why the party manifesto for the state remains silent on the exact percentage to be given to backward minorities in Uttar Pradesh.
"He (Khurshid was the Chairperson of the Committee. The Committee consists of more than just the Chairperson," was his refrain when told that Khurshid has been taking the plea so far that he was the Chairperson of the committee to prepare the manifesto and that Congress will indeed give reservation from eight to nine percent to backward minorities there.
For the minorities, the manifesto promised timely implementation of UPA government's policy of 4.5 per cent quota in central government jobs, PSUs and educational institutions besides aim towards a sub quota for them in UP as part of the OBC quota in the state government jobs and educational institutions commensurate to their population.
Earlier, campaigning for his wife Louis Khurshid from Farrukhabad, the Law Minister had said Congress would give 9 per cent reservation to backward minorities, if his party came to power in Uttar Pradesh, a statement which had led to a political controversy after the Election Commission issued him a show cause notice.