Allahabad: Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Tuesday attacked the Chhattisgarh government for its "failure" in providing security to Congress workers` cavalcade, which came under Maoist attack last week, and demanded a probe in the "conspiracy" behind "sudden change in the route".
"The dastardly attack is a massive failure on the part of the BJP government in Chhattisgarh. There also seems to be a conspiracy behind the ghastly strike, which needs to be investigated and exposed," Verma told reporters here.
When asked to elaborate, the Union Minister said, "It has been learnt that there was a sudden change in the route which the Congress workers` cavalcade was supposed to follow. It deserves to be probed as to under what circumstances such a sudden change was effected".
"Also, adequate security cover was not in place despite the fact that the cavalcade included Vidya Charan Shukla, a former Union minister, who enjoys Z category security. The 84-year-old is battling for life, while many of our party colleagues, including the state party president Nand Kumar Patel and his son, lost their lives," he added.
Verma also flayed the Uttar Pradesh government over the custodial death of terror accused Khalid Mujahid and alleged "officers who were involved in his wrongful arrest could have been behind his killing".
"Nevertheless, the death of an inmate of a prison is ultimately a failure on part of the state government in ensuring his safety. It is a serious matter and deserves to be investigated by the National Investigation Agency".
He also questioned "why has the government failed to table the report of R D Nimesh Commission, which had been set up to look into wrongful arrest of Mujahid, in the state Assembly? Does it not call the bluff of a regime, which pretends to be so deeply concerned over innocent Muslims being booked for terror cases?"
Mujahid died on May 18 in Barabanki while being escorted to Lucknow jail after a hearing. He was being brought back to Lucknow jail after hearing in a Faizabad court.
The accused fell sick and fainted near Barabanki border and was rushed to district hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Training his guns on Samajwadi Party, Verma accused it of having a "tacit understanding" with the BJP to polarise votes along religious lines.
"Let us not forget that when he was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav used to hold frequent parleys with `kar sevaks`, which emboldened the Sangh Parivar foot-soldiers and set the tone for the unfortunate demolition of Babri Masjid when the state came under BJP rule," he alleged.
"SP has been carrying on the charade of extending support to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. However, it has never ever shown the decency of countering any of the endless diatribes against the coalition government by the BJP-led NDA," he said.