Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi
The Union Cabinet on Monday forwarded its resolution seeking a clarification on Election Commission's decision to defer assembly elections in Gujarat to President A P J Abdul Kalam.
The reference has been made under Article 143, wherein the President can seek the opinion of the Supreme Court.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj had said the matter was being referred to the President as the Election Commission's decision had raised "far-reaching constitutional questions" and "contradictions."
The President's secretariat, it was learnt from sources, would file the reference before the Supreme Court on Tuesday or Wednesday. Solicitor General of India Harish Salve is likely to provide legal opinion to the President before he forwards the reference to the apex court.
The Cabinet's decision to question Election Commission's authority has come < a href=18guj1.htm>under fire from opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, has welcomed it, saying it was the only option left to clear the "constitutional confusion" created by the commission's order.
The Congress party, meanwhile, described the decision as a 'reflection of an intolerant mindset'.
Addressing newsmen at the daily party briefing Congress spokesmen Anand Sharma and Dr Abhishek Sighvi said, "The reaction of the BJP and the Central government to the EC's recommendations is unfortunate."
Gujarat Elections 2002: The complete coverage
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