New Delhi: The Election Commission has postponed to Monday the hearing in the case against Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma for violation of model code of conduct over his minorities sub-quota remarks following a request from the complainant.
The Commission on Monday had granted personal hearing to Verma on February 24 to explain his minorities sub-quota remarks for which the poll body had slapped a notice on him.
Sources in the Commission said that the matter has been postponed to Monday due to non-availability of the complainant BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain's lawyer for arguing the case.
The Steel Minister will explain his minorities sub-quota remarks for which the poll body had slapped a notice on him.
The Commission had earlier also decided to grant personal hearing on Friday to the complainant Hussain in the case of model code of conduct violation by the Steel Minister.
"Hussain had requested the Commission to postpone the matter to Monday, since his lawyer and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad was not available on Friday for arguing his case. Both the parties mutually agreed and the EC will now hear both the parties on Monday," a senior EC official told.
During the hearing on Monday, Beni is expected to explain to the Commission on why action should not be initiated against him for violation of model code of conduct.
Verma, in his reply to the Commission, had expressed regret over his sub-quota remarks but had contended that he did not violate the model code of conduct and that his remarks were made as a Congress leader in line with the party's manifesto and not as a minister.
The Election Commission had on Saturday issued notice to Verma over his remarks on sub-quota for minorities, holding that prima facie it was a violation of the model code of conduct and had sought his reply by Monday evening.
While addressig a poll rally on Wednesday night in Farukkhabad in the presence of Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Beni had said, "Reservation for Muslims will be increased and if the EC wants, it can now issue a notice to me."