The rebel Samajwadi Party MP Beni Prasad Verma on Monday strongly defended Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on his controversial comments on the division of Pakistan in 1971. Asserting that there was nothing wrong in it, Verma said the BJP and other parties had been trying to believe a historical fact.
Addressing newsmen before leaving for Faizabad to file his nomination papers from Ayodhya assembly constituency, Verma said Bangladesh came into existence just because of courage and diplomacy of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. “Rahul has given a factual statement”, Verma said and added both BJP and CPI had been trying to mislead the country on the issue.
Verma, a prominent Kurmi leader, has decided to contest from Ayodhya with the support of the Congress. Even though the BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday rebuffed him for his appeal to withdraw BSP candidate from Ayodhya, Verma again seeking her support said “I will fulfill her mission of sending Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh to jail”.
Referring to his Lok Sabha membership, Verma said he wanted to quit Qaisarganj seat before filing nomination but the BJP leader Arif Mohammad Khan, whose wife Reshma Arif is contesting on Verma’s Samajwadi Kranti Dal ticket from Bahraich, asked him to delay his resignation.
Verma has already announced that Khan would contest from Qaisarganj. Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, Verma said once he filed his nomination from Ayodhya on SKD ticket, the SP leader in the Lok Sabha Ram Gopal Yadav could move the Speaker for his disqualification. “I am not going to challenge it”, Verma said. “My filing of nomination would be taken as voluntarily leaving the SP”, Verma commented. Interestingly the SP has so far not taken any action against Verma.
Pointing out that the next UP chief minister would be of the choice of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Verma said he was forced to raise banner of revolt against the SP leadership.
However Verma made it clear that he would not join the Congress. “ I will help Congress in the larger interest of the country”, he said.
The UPA government last week provided him Z plus security. The CISF has been posted to protect him. Verma also denied that he had a meeting the chief minister on Sunday night in the presence of senior SP leaders Janeshwar Mishra and Bhagwati Singh. Saying that there was no question of meeting Yadav, Verma said the SP had been spreading canard.