A statement made by union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has become a sticking point between the Congress and SP, with the latter demanding his sacking or apology.
Verma, a former associate of Yadav and now a Congress minister, reportedly accused the SP chief of “terrorist links,” two days back at a rally in his constituency Gonda.
As the SP forced adjournment of both houses of Parliament for the day on the issue, Verma remained defiant refusing to do either. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, the Samajwadi Party members stormed the well of Lok Sabha, alleging that Verma had said “all Muslims were terrorists.”
Verma, present in the house at that time stated that he never made any such statement. “I stand by what I said. I won’t quit; who is Mulayam to ask for my removal. Has he made me the minister,” Verma later said outside.
Expression of regret by parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath and a rebuke of the minister by the Congress have not impressed the SP which may raise the issue again in parliament on Tuesday.
Verma, who broke ranks with SP to join the Congress before 2009 elections, has on several occasions scorned Yadav for running SP as a family venture
“In politics everyone should observe restraint in use of language. Yadav is head of a supporting party to the government in which Verma is a minister,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said adding that the party has taken the matter seriously.