NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (IANS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi "that autonomy of the constitutional body would be protected".
The prime minister gave the assurance in his Jan 5 letter to the poll panel chief in response to a letter by Quraishi sent to him Dec 29 last year, sources said.
The CEC wrote to the prime minister Dec 29 and complained against Law Minister Salman Khurshid's reported statement that the "centre possessed some sort of administrative control over the EC" made in context of the Lokpal bill debate in parliament.
Meanwhile, Quraishi Friday termed the reports of personal differences with Khurshid as "ridiculous" and said there were some institutional issues between them.
"We did write a letter couple of weeks ago but can't share anything more on this. We have some perspectives which we share... it is a ridiculous idea (personal differences with Khurshid) and we are friends. It is just institutional issues," Quraishi told reporters here.
Sources clarified the communication between the prime minister and the CEC has nothing do with the commission's notice to Khurshid Tuesday for promising 9 percent quota to Muslims from the 27.5 percent OBC reservation pie.
Quraishi said the EC has received the minister's reply.
"We are yet to discuss the reply and as per the procedure, if the reply is satisfactory then the matter will be dropped or else action will be taken," he said.