Congress pulls up Beni Prasad Verma for remarks against Mulayam

Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on 18 March. Photo: PTI

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) Seeking to mollify Samajwadi Party, Congress today snubbed Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma for his remarks against Mulayam Singh Yadav but steered clear of the ally’s demands to sack him.

“The party is not in agreement with what he (Verma) has said. We do not approve of the statement he has given. Congress has always said that partymen should talk seriously.  SP is supporting our government from outside,” party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.

Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi, who is also AICC media department in-charge, said the party has taken the matter seriously.

“In politics everyone should observe restraint in use of language. Mulayam Singh Yadav is the head of the supporting party…,” Dwivedi said.

The Congress leaders’ comments came as the controversial remarks of Verma paralysed proceedings in Parliament today.

Verma found himself in the midst of a fresh controversy over his remarks that Mulayam Singh Yadav allegedly has “terrorist links”. Samajwadi Party members disrupted Lok Sabha demanding his removal from the Cabinet.

The controversy involving a party supporting the government from outside has happened at a time when the government is faced with a political challenge in the wake of the UPA constituent DMK threatening to pull out from the alliance on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Alvi said that Verma is a minister in the government supported by SP from outside and that “the party has always said that our leaders should be balanced and patient and give statements seriously.”

“The party does not support statements given in a non- serious manner,” he said.

On SP’s demand for dismissal of Verma from the Cabinet, Alvi said, “SP may demand it. SP is a separate party. I do not want to comment on that.”

Verma told reporters outside Parliament that he stood by his statement against the SP leader. He also ruled out stepping down in the wake of the SP demand, saying, “Has he (Mulayam) made me the Minister?”


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