Mulayam adamant on Beni's dismissal

Sushma supports Samajwadi demand

As the exit of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) left the Congress at its mercy, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has upped the ante against Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma, demanding the government to sack him for his controversial remarks against Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The SP members raised the issue and created pandemonium in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha pressing their demand for the immediate sacking of Verma from the ministerial post, soon after the two Houses assembled for the days. This was one of the issues that led to frequent adjournments of the two Houses of Parliament.

While SP members were agitating, the leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj added fuel to fire, saying that Yadav is a respectable person and Beni Prasad Verma had no right to continue in office by making “disparaging remarks” against him. She also said the BJP and SP may have political differences, but “this is a matter of privilege of the House.”

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile, met Yadav and asked him with folded hands to give up his demand for his resignation.

Accompanied by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, Verma too extended an apology in public for his remarks against the SP chief. This, however, did not satisfy the SP.

“There is a difference between regret and apology,” SP leader Shailendra Kumar said after Yadav met the prime minister.

Yadav said the SP Parliamentary Board will meet on Thursday morning to take a call on the issue.

The Union steel minister had recently come in the firing line in Lok Sabha after he alleged that Yadav had “terrorist links”.  At a rally in Uttar Pradesh, he again made critical remarks against yadav, charging him of taking commission.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament House two days back, Verma stood by his statement that Yadav allegedly had “terrorist links”. He had also ruled out stepping down following the SP leader’s demand, saying, “has he made me a minister?”

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