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People will not be let down: Amar

THE RULING Samajwadi Party appears not have made up its mind regarding action against Minister for Backward Class Welfare Mahboob Ali, who was caught taking bribe in a sting operation. ?We are awaiting the report of the local unit of the party....Let us first get the entire report. The entire country has taken cognizance. We are not insensitive to such kind of blatant happenings. I can assure you that people of the state and the country at large will not be disappointed,? SP general secretary Amar Singh told reporters in Delhi .

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 00:45 IST

THE RULING Samajwadi Party appears not have made up its mind regarding action against Minister for Backward Class Welfare Mahboob Ali, who was caught taking bribe in a sting operation.

“We are awaiting the report of the local unit of the party....Let us first get the entire report. The entire country has taken cognizance. We are not insensitive to such kind of blatant happenings. I can assure you that people of the state and the country at large will not be disappointed,” SP general secretary Amar Singh told reporters in Delhi when asked what action the party was contemplating against Ali.

However, Singh also suggested the minister should be given an opportunity to explain his view point before the party took any decision.

Another SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said the minister should step down on his own as otherwise Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav would take action against him. “The Chief Minister should take action against him”, added Yadav, the cousin brother of the state chief Minister.

Ali was among three politicians—the other two being BSP and BJP MLAs from UP—shown on video shot by a team of journalists of IBN-CNN television news channelel. A row has also erupted in the party over Ali accusing Jail Minister Rakesh Verma of his involvement in drug trafficking from Barabanki.

Since Verma is son of senior SP leader and MP from Qaisarganj Beni Prasad Verma, a section in the party has in fact taken the charges as an offensive against the MP. While pushing the ball in central leadership’s court for action against Mahboob Ali, state SP president Ram Saran Das today gave a clean chit to the jail minister. Expressing concern over the expose, Das said Mulayam Singh Yadav would decide about the fate of Ali. Das said action could be taken since the charges were serious.

About Rakesh Verma, the SP state president said he had been working with Beni Prasad Verma (father) for a long time and never came across with any such complaint. However, he said Beni Prasad should also look into the issue involvinh his son. Once close to the SP leadership, Beni Verma has now been marginalised in the party.

The situation has taken curious turn in the party as the BJP has already announced suspension of its ‘stung’ MLA Somaru Ram Saroj and the BSP chief hinting action against MLA Anil Kumar Maurya.

Talking to newsmen Das initially expressed ignorance about sting operation. However, when pressed he said only central leadership could decide the issue.

Referring to the demand of Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh for expulsion of three accused MLAs from the House, Das said “there is weight in his demand”.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 00:45 IST