Congress defends Khurshid action

New Delhi: Congress today saw nothing wrong in Union Minister Salman Khurshid`s assertion that the party would provide nine per cent sub-quota for backward Muslims in Uttar Pradesh if it was voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections there.

“What Salman Khurshid has said is right. The party could increase the sub quota for backward Muslims within the existing OBC quota in UP in the event of its forming the government in the state,” party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said. The Congress spokesperson`s statement is indicative of the party`s plans to woo Muslim voters in the state, which helped Congress win 22 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Ahead of the UP assembly elections this time, the Centre decided to provide a sub quota of 4.5 per cent for backward Muslims within the 27 per cent OBC reservation in jobs and central educational institutions. The party has fielded a sizable number of Muslim candidates in this election and is hoping to score big by bringing together the votes of muslims, extremely backward castes, non-Jatav Dalits and upper castes.

Khurshid had promised this while addressing a poll meeting in Farrukhabad assembly constituency from where his wife Louise is contesting. He had said more than eight castes such as Mansoori and Qureshi would benefit from such a move. The Law Minister had also reminded the voters that the UPA government at the Centre had already taken a decision to provide 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities within the existing 27 per cent OBC quota.