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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Beni shoots again, targets own partymen this time

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, June 26, 2013
First Published: 10:31 IST(26/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:34 IST(26/6/2013)

Known for his penchant for controversies, union minister for steel Beni Prasad Verma on Tuesday said a section of Congress leaders had conspired with the Samajwadi Party to ensure his party’s defeat in 2012 assembly elections.

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“Congress tickets were sold in 2012 assembly elections and party funds were used to finance Samajwadi Party’s candidates,” said Verma while asserting that a section of Congress leaders leaked the party’s poll strategy to the Samajwadi Party on a day-today basis during the polls.

Verma’s attacks on the Samajwadi Party came a day after some SP leaders showed black flags to him and disrupted his meeting in Bahraich. Verma not only called the protests ‘sponsored’ by the Samajwadi Party, he also said the SP and the Bharatiya Janata Party were two sides of the same coin.

Verma said the situation was badly turning against the Samajwadi Party and the party would not be able to win even the Mainpuri seat (SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is MP from there) in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “If necessary, we will join hands with the BSP to ensure SP’s defeat there,” he said.

About the 2012 assembly elections, Verma said the poll scenario was initially in favour of the Congress. AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi’s tours were initially getting good response from the people, he said adding, “But the Batla House incident and announcement of 4.5% reservation for the minorities in central government jobs boomeranged and helped the Samajwadi Party. This reservation was anti-Constitutional.”

Without naming any leader for ‘colluding’ with the Samajwadi Party, Verma said there was no point in announcing 4.5 % reservation for minorities in the central government jobs at the time of assembly elections. “I was not present at the meeting of the union cabinet that approved the move to provide 4.5% reservation to the minorities in central jobs,” he said adding, “The other backward classes (OBCs) were antagonised, as 4.5% share was taken away from the OBC quota of 27%. The minorities felt cheated as this gave too little a share to them.”

Replying to a question, Verma said he was sure party vice president Rahul Gandhi would take note of his observations and act to make corrections in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Targeting the SP government, Verma said the distribution of laptops would do no good to the youths as there was no power to charge these machines. Verma said terror accused Khalid Mujahid was given poison in his food. Later the police pressurised the doctors to state that Mujahid died of a heart attack.

In reply to a question, Verma said there was no chance of Narendra Modi becoming the PM as people would never accept him.


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