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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Who is Beni Prasad Verma?

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 20, 2013
First Published: 23:51 IST(20/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:04 IST(21/3/2013)
Who is Beni Prasad Verma?



Age: 70 years

Party: Congress

Fifth term MP from Gonda Lok Sabha seat

Previous position held Minister of State for Steel. Now promoted to Cabinet rank

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Political journey

* Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma is considered by many as the mentor to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav

* Verma, a socialist leader, started under the tutelage of late Chaudhary Charan Singh

* The ‘Kurmi’ leader was the refined face of SP owing to his superior knowledge of law & parliamentary procedures

* Verma’s downslide in SP began with the failure of his “Kurmi politics”. ‘Kurmis” are estimated to constitute approximately 5% of the backward votes in UP

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/3/21_03_13-metro13b.jpg* Before 2007 assembly elections Verma left the SP to form Samajwadi Kranti Dal

* Yadav’s perceived tilt towards family politics, and flirtations with corporate houses, are said to have been the factors behind the split

* Samajwadi Kranti Dal however, failed to take off with Verma losing from Ayodhya seat

* Ahead of the 2009 polls, Verma joined the Congress.

Trysts with controversy
* In February 2012, during the Uttar Pradesh elections Verma announced a hike in the Muslim quota, daring EC to arrest him

* Six months later, he told a rally at UP’s Barabanki that inflation was actually benefitting the farmers, saying high prices will get farmers better returns

* In October 2012 he said that Salman Khurshid could not have embezzled R71 lakh as it was a very “small amount for a central minister”

* Two months later he courted controversy again by seeking life imprisonment for Afzal Guru

* Verma’s continuance in the Congress is important to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s social engineering formula for Uttar Pradesh.

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