Beni Prasad Verma: Modi no match to Rahul as prime ministerial candidate.

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File photo of Rahul Gandhi (left) and Beni Prasad Verma (centre) during a election rally in Uttar Pradesh in December 2011

Lucknow, February 1: Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma today said that the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is no match to the stature of the Congress Vice President for office of Prime Minister after 2014 parliament elections.

He said, “Rahul Gandhi is the unanimous prime ministerial candidate of the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections and Narendra Modi is no match to the stature of Rahul Gandhi, as the former was a mere regional leader with highly tainted record in public life.”  He added, “Rahul Gandhi is the undisputed leader of Congress, while the BJP leaders are locked in an internecine battle as to who will be their PM candidate in 2014.”

Verma further said, “Everyone in Congress wants Rahul Gandhi to become the next PM of the country as he is the only capable leader to lead the nation. The effort of the BJP to project Narendra Modi will never succeed as the CM of a state cannot compete with a national leader of the stature of Rahul Gandhi.”

“Rahul Gandhi is national leader of a diverse country with plural culture, religion and language; while Narandra Modi is just a CM of a state, whose only claim to fame is the fomenting of communal riots in Gujarat”, the Union Minister said.

On the state of affairs in UP, he mentioned, “The daily statement of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on the performance of the government headed by his son proves that SP chief is trying to become a defector CM of the state.”

Beni Prasad Verma is an old political associate of Mulayam Singh Yadav and co founder of the Samajwadi Party in October, 1992.  He along with Mulayam Singh Yadav were the members of the Union Cabinet headed by H. D. Devegowda and I. K. Gujaral. Beni Prasad Verma was the communication minister, while Mulayam Singh was the defense minister. Verma parted company with SP in 2006 after serious differences with the then SP General Secretary Amar Singh.

Accusing the UP government of indulging in political vendetta, the Union minister said that the state government has withdrawn his security without any notice.

“I was surprised to find out that the security provided to him by the state government has been withdrawn.  I am entitled for Z category security cover and the Central government has provided me security personnel from the CISF. The decision of the UP government smacks of vendetta”, said Beni Prasad Verma. He however refused to make any critical comment on the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav saying he that he is his nephew. Verma however blamed the SP chief for the withdrawal of his security saying, “Mulayam Singh Yadav is trying hard to malign the government headed by his son.”

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Special Correspondent (Lucknow)

Virendra Nath Bhatt is a post graduate in Economics. Started career as journalist in 1982, by contributing for a couple of Hindi dailies of Lucknow and Bareilly and also Jansatta of Delhi. Joined the English daily `The Pioneer in 1990 and later shifted to National Herald. After one year joined as correspondent for the Onlooker Magazine published from Bombay in 1991. In 1995 again joined The Pioneer in 1995 and worked till 2007. In December joined Indian Express Luck now. In September 2011 joined Tehelka. Bhatt has extensively covered parliament and assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1985 and also the Ramjanma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya and the movement for social justice – the social strife against the implementation of the Mandal commission report in August 1990.