Beni Prasad Verma said that the UPA will not lose support of its allies, in case TMC moves a no-confidence motion against it
Virendra Nath Bhatt
Ahead of the crucial winter session of the Parliament that begins 22 November Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Monday 19 November claimed that there is no threat to the UPA government as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati would continue to support the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre.
Without elaborating he said, “Everyone knows why Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati would continue their support to the UPA at any cost, hence the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha would fall flat,” adding, “there is no possibility of the no confidence motion against the government since Mamata Banarjee of Trinmool Congress lacks the required support of at least 50 MPs for tabling the motion with the opposition being badly divided.” Even if the Trinmool Congress moves the no confidence motion, it would have no relevance, Verma added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banarjee’s Trinmool Congress (TMC), which had walked out of the UPA over the issue of FDI in retail, has announced to bring a no confidence motion against the UPA during the winter session of the Parliament. The TMC, however, lacks the requisite support on the floor of the house and has sought support of the BJP and the Left parties.
“There is no alternative of the UPA in the country at present, so the political parties of Uttar Pradesh have no reason to go against the ruling coalition at the Centre. The UPA will emerge as a force to reckon with before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which will be held on time,” said Verma.
On the elevation of the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi as the chairman of the five member election coordination committee and his projection by the party as the next prime minister, the Verma said, “The Congress high command would take the final call on this issue and in my personal capacity I want that Rahul Gandhi should lead the party in the elections and become the next PM of the country.” Ruling out the speculation of shifting from Gonda Lok Sabha seat, Verma, who is also the member of the Congress working committee, maintained that he would contest for 2014 Parliament election from Gonda seat where he has proposed a 500 MW power plant, a steel plant, an ITI and other projects.
The steel minister was in Lucknow on Monday to launch the Rashtriya Ispal Nigam Limited (RINL) ‘Customer Portal’ and released the ‘Customer Charter’— a first by any steel company in the country. While inaugurating the portal, Verma said that the country’s rural markets will be bigger than the markets in some of the developed countries in the next few years.
Verma announced that a steel unit would be set up by RINL in Lalitpur after the state government approves the mining of iron ore. A similar plant could also be set up at Sonebhadra. ”RINL is also considering setting up a small plant near Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Lalganj in Rae Bareli,” he added.
Virendra Nath Bhatt is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.