New Delhi: Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma's controversial remarks about Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has seen the party go on an offensive. Even though Beni Prasad Verma and even Congress President Sonia Gandhi apologised to Mulayam Singh Yadav, but the Samajwadi Party is yet to accept it.
Samajwadi Party leaders discussed Beni Prasad Verma's statements on Thursday and left the final decision on Mulayam. Sources say that while Mulayam is yet to react, but party leaders feel that Samajwadi Party's support is crucial for the Congress-led UPA after the DMK pulled out of the ruling alliance and the circumstances are in their favour. So they are trying to keep the issue alive.
Beni Prasad Verma had on March 16 accused the Samajwadi Party chief of having links with terrorists and his statements have come as a huge embarrassment.
The Samajwadi party raised the issue in Parliament on Wednesday and even got some support from the BJP with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj showing some sympathy to Mulayam and pulling up the government. Sushma Swaraj said that it is unfortunate that a Union Minister first makes controversial remarks against Mulayam and later when SP leaders demand an apology, he fires another salvo suggesting that Mulayam takes commission to support the UPA.
Sonia and her political secretary Ahmad Patel met Mulayam on Wednesday and told him that Beni Prasad Verma's remarks were his personal opinion and did not reflect not Congress's stand.
When the matter did not come to an end Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath also met Mulayam Singh Yadav. Beni Prasad Verma also apologised to the Prime Minister but SP leaders are not satisfied and have demanded his resignation.