New Delhi: Beni Prasad Verma, who has
thrived on anti-Congress activism for a greater part of his
political career, returns to the Union Council of Ministers
after a gap of over a decade.
70-year-old Verma, a prominent Kurmi (backward) leader
from Uttar Pradesh, was Union minister for Communications
between 1996 and 1998, during the United Front regime. He will
be the Minister of State with Independent charge of Steel
Verma was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and
2004 from the Kaiserganj constituency. In 2009, he represented
Gonda Lok Sabha constituency in UP as a Congress nominee.
A former minister in Uttar Pradesh, Verma had held
various portfolios in successive governments.
Once considered close to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,
Verma fell apart following differences. In 2008, Verma
announced his intention to contest the general elections on a
Congress ticket and won from Gonda in 2009.
During his association with Samajwadi Party, Verma was
a powerful general secretary and had opposed the growing
influence of Amar Singh in the party.
During his long political innings, Verma has been
associated with the Janata Party, Bharatiya Lok Dal and Janata