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News updated at 2:41 AM IST

SP demands Beni scalp for remark on Mulayam Singh

NEW DELHI, Mar 18, 2013, DHNS: 1:24 IST
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Lok Sabha on Monday. PTI Photo
Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma landed in a fresh row on Monday after his remark that Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had terrorist links. Angry MPs of the SP created pandemonium in both Houses of Parliament following which the government was forced to express regret.

Verma, a known Yadav baiter, stirred up a hornet's nest by the remark in the Lok Sabha which led to the Samajwadi Party members storming the Well demanding an apology and removal of the minister for his alleged statement against their leader.

As SP members continued to raise slogans, 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 the BJP to win in Gujarat,” the minister said.

While protests from SP members led to the adjournment of the Lok Sabha several times, the Rajya Sabha witnessed one adjournment before the Chair called it a day.

With an angry Yadav demanding that the minister be put behind bars or be sacked, Verma refused to seek an apology. However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath expressed regret over Verma's remarks.

Seeking to mollify the SP chief whose party is a key outside supporter with 22 members in the Lok Sabha, Nath said Yadav “is not an ordinary member” and “he is leader of his party.

“The observation that has been made, I regret. I would only like to say such allegations, observations. It is not the question of whether you belong to ruling party or opposition. We condemn this. All of us condemn this,” he said.

The Congress also snubbed Verma but steered clear of the ally's demands to sack him. Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said party members should be careful in making statements.

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