There appears to be no end to the tug of war between Samajwadi Party MP Beni Prasad Verma and State Labour and Employment Minister Waqar Ahmad Shah, which has driven a wedge in the party. The supporters of Beni are leaving no stone unturned to ensure success of his 'Shakti Pradarshan' meeting scheduled to be held in Behda village on Thursday.
It may be recalled that some miscreants had killed Ram Bhulan Verma, a district panchayat member, while he was sleeping in a farmhouse in Dallapurwa village on January 9. In the aftermath of the murder, there was a rift in the ruling Samajwadi Party. Beni Prasad Verma alleged that the district panchayat member was killed at the behest of Waqar Ahmad Shah. He also alleged that the minister was protecting the killers of the panchayat member and hampering investigation of the murder case with the help of some senior police officials.
SP MLA from Mahsi Dilip Kumar Verma, Fakharpur MLA Arun Veer Singh, Charda MLA Shabbir Ahmad, district panchayat chairman Vijay Pratap Singh and MLC Mohammad Ramzan also came forward in support of Beni.
Though the police have worked out the case and ruled out any involvement of Waqar in the murder, Beni and his supporter are clamouring for action against the minister.
The police said old enmity and land dispute were the motive behind the murder and some villagers had given contract of the district panchayat member's murder to Rajkishore gang of Sitapur district. However, dissatisfied with the police's claim, Beni and his supporters are still protesting against the murder. Reacting to the issue, Waqar said Beni and his supporters were hatching a conspiracy against him. Though the matter was placed before Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, he failed to defuse the tension. In fact, Mulayam himself seemed confused whether to support an old loyalist or a Muslim leader.
The Beni camp apparently appears stronger but many Yadavas and Muslims have united against him. The Yadav Mahasabha held a demonstration and urged the Chief Minister to take action against Beni. Maulana Shamsuddin, Islamic scholar of Chhoti Takiya said the people would oppose Beni if he decided to contest the election.