SP disrupts Lok Sabha over Beni Prasad Verma's remarks
Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma found himself in the midst of a fresh controversy over his remarks that Mulayam Singh Yadav allegedly has "terrorist links", with Samajwadi Party members disrupting the Lok Sabha today demanding his removal from the Cabinet.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for nearly two hours following the uproar with SP members storming the Well demanding an apology by the Minister and his removal from the Cabinet.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Shailendra Kumar (SP) demanded that Verma should immediately tender an apology for his alleged remark that all Muslims were terrorists.
Verma immediately clarified that he had not made any such statement and so there was no question of an apology. "Where is the proof that I have said such thing? I did not link terrorism to any religion."
But SP members remained adamant as Mulayam Singh Yadav himself rose to speak attacking Verma.
He said Verma's comments followed a Muslim convention he had addressed in Lucknow where several Muslim religious leaders spoke about the contributions of the community in the service of the nation.
The leaders, Yadav said, also spoke on the problems faced by the community. The SP chief said he would continue to fight for the cause of minorities, as the Sachhar Commission itself has pointed out their socio-economic backwardness.
"How can we forget (1965 war hero) Abdul Hamid and our former President Abdul Kalam? How can we forget their contributions in national development as also in securing our borders? How can he (Verma) say that Muslims are terrorists? He should apologise," said an angry Yadav.As SP members continued to raise slogans from the Well, Verma said, "For me, terrorism has no religion, no colour.
The demolition of Babri Masjid and the post-Godhra riots are also terrorist incidents.
"But he (Mulayam) joined hands with those who demolished Babri Masjid, like Kalyan Singh. His party also helped BJP to win in Gujarat," the Minister said.
Amid din, Speaker Meira Kumar directed other members to raise their issues but later adjourned the House till 2 PM.
Verma, a friend-turned-foe of Yadav, has often found himself at the centre of controversies over his remarks.
When Lok Sabha reassembled at 2 PM, similar scenes were witnessed.Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda took up the listed business, but the SP members trooped into the Well and raised slogans against Verma demanding an apology.
As the din continued, Munda adjourned the House for an hour till 3 PM.
Later talking to reporters outside Parliament, Verma said he stands by his statement against the SP leader.
"Yes", he said replying to a pointed question in this regard.
He also ruled out stepping down following Mulayam's demand in this regard, asking, "Has he made me the Minister?"