Law Minister Salman Khurshid today drew flak from the Opposition for his remarks on minorities sub-quota and alleged defiance of EC with BJP demanding his sacking and accusing Congress of working on a well "scripted conspiracy" to "communalise" UP polls.
BJP's NDA ally JD (U) demanded that Khurshid be banned from Uttar Pradesh while CPI(M) disapproved of his "defiant stance" saying "people occupying responsible positions must not talk and behave irresponsibly".
BJP leader L K Advani alleged that the minister was making a "mockery" of model code of conduct.
"The PM should sack Khurshid for making comments on EC. No minister had ever made comments against the EC in such a way. After being censured by the Commission, the minister is making mockery of model code of conduct," Advani said, while addressing an election meeting in Bhadohi today.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley alleged that there was a well "scripted conspiracy" on the part of Congress to communalise the UP assembly elections.
"I have reason to believe it's a part of scripted conspiracy by Congress to communalise the UP elections...The more it's done...You might save yourself from the utter disgrace," Jaitely alleged while talking to the reporters in Lucknow.
"But the Congress must realise that everyone has a vote, and the reaction to what Congress is doing could be counter productive," he added.
He said that step taken by the EC yesterday was "unprecedented" which had never happened in the country before.
"The attitude of Union Law Minister after receiving EC order was that of defiance. Saying that whether EC hangs him, he would make announcements. This lawlessness of the minister has no place in country's democracy," he said.
He alleged that now a script of unnecessary conflict with the EC was being drawn.
"Is it an adamancy of one person or a well thought conspiracy of Congress party," Jaitely questioned.
"He should be banned by the PM in UP. If there would have been a good PM he would have been sacked," JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said in Lucknow.
Speaking in Allahabad, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat said, "We do not approve of Khurshid's defiant stance. He is a union minister and people occupying responsible posts must not talk and behave irresponsibly."
BJP leader Uma Bharti demanded that the Commission should take legal action against Khurshid and "send him to jail" to maintain its credibility.
"This matter of Salman Khurshid is not that of a person or party, but that of credibility of the EC. I appeal the Commission to maintain its credibility, it should take stern action against the minister," Bharti said while addressing an election rally in Rae Bareli.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should promptly ask for Khurshid's resignation.
"We demand that without wasting any time, the Prime Minister should take Khurshid's resignation. If he refuses to go, then under sub-section 2 of Section 75 of the Constitution, the President must be asked for Khurshid's dismissal," Swaraj said in Varanasi.
Jaitley also appealed the Prime Minister to intervene into the matter.
"It is my appeal to Prime Minister that such cheap tradition should not be set that during elections the Law Minister becomes the main law breaker.
"The minister has broken the law and defied the constitutional institution, the Prime Minister must set an example by advising the President to withdraw the pleasure of him being in the council."
Alleging that Congress was in the "state of desperation", Jaitley said, "Congress campaign is like hype of the top, not backed by substance on the ground...It's in state of desperation and due to this efforts are being made to communalise polls."
The manner in which writer Salman Rushdie was prevented from entering the country was a clear indication of succumbing before the fundamentalists, he said.
He alleged that Congress has asked its two leaders to take hardline position and nobody speaks about development.
While Swaraj said that Khurshid's decision to stick to his stand on minority quota was "unfortunate," and the EC had for the "first time" complained about a central minister to the President.
"The matter should be solved immediately otherwise the EC would not be able to conduct elections in a fair manner if the issue is prolonged," she claimed.
Swaraj also attacked Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for his comments that the BJP's 'India Shining' slogan emanated from those who have never visited the poor in the villages.
"Rahul is living in the past. He doesn't know anything about villages or cities. BJP leaders have been born in villages," she said.
She also claimed that the BJP will form the next governments in Goa and Uttar Pradesh while remaining in power in Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, Advani said that corruption, black money and price rise were the three main issues on which he would attract attention of people and those supporting crime and corruption should not form government.
About the issue of bringing back blackmoney stashed in foreign banks, Advani said after treaty with UN the government could make a move to bring the blackmoney back.
He claimed that if the government succeeded in bringing back about Rs 25 lakh crore blackmoney from foreign banks, it would change the face of the country.
JD-U president maintained that the Law Minister has a "politically-driven agenda" and demanded that the Prime Minister should "ban" him in Uttar Pradesh as he was trying "desperately" to get votes.
"He is talking about nine per cent reservation. Even if he turns things upside down, it will not happen. Only Lok Sabha can do something," the JD-U leader said.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said if the government does not remove Khurshid, then "we will consider that this (Khurshid's remarks) is a collective statement of the Congress."