SAMAJWADI PARTY general secretary Beni Prasad Verma today said that former defence minister George Fernandes was welcome to the party and efforts were on to associate him with the party.
He, however, said that Fernandes should first leave the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Front (NDA).
Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, Verma refused to comment on the Central Bureau of Investigation FIR against Fernandes in Barak missile scam. He said the CBI case would in no way hamper his entry into the party.
Verma said, “we have learnt politics under his guidance”. Referring to the on-going controversy over capital punishment to conspirator of the terrorists attack on Parliament Mohammad Afzal, the Samajwadi Party leader said the Bharatiya Janata Party had unnecessarily raked up the issue.
Refusing to explain the party line on the issue Verma said the matter was pending before President APJ Abdul Kalam and the Samajwadi Party would react only at an appropriate time.
Interestingly, playing soft on Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati by calling himself “her elder brother” Verma paid glowing tributes to Kanshi Ram. He said Kanshi Ram had done selfless service to the people.
The Samajwadi Party leader also assailed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for not effectively taking up the Supreme Court case about OBC reservation in higher education. He said deliberately some lacunae were left to weaken the case in the court.
He said a countrywide rapid survey should be conducted to remove the discrepancies in the reservation Bill so that a proper reply could be given in the court.
Verma said, both Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and All Inida Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi, were not sincere to the interest of OBC and Muslims.
Enumerating the measures taken by Mulayam Singh Yadav government for Muslims, Verma said the Congress had only been making tall claims about services to the community.
Verma also flayed former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh for doing nothing for the OBC during his regime. Verma said VP Singh simply issued a government order for the implementation of Mandal Commission report to serve his vested interest.