Cong ticks off Beni for his SP`s B-team remarks

Congress disapproved of Beni Prasad Verma`s going public with the charge that some party leaders worked as B-team of SP and told him that issues if any should be discussed within the party fora and not outside.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2013, 19:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday disapproved of Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma`s going public with the charge that some party leaders worked as B-team of Samajwadi Party and told him that issues if any should be discussed within the party fora and not outside.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Madhusudan Mistri spoke twice to Verma over the phone telling him in clear terms that it is better if such things are not discussed in public.

"This may be his personal opinion. As Mistri said, if he (Verma) has any inforamtion, he should share it in the party fora. Mistri has given him a chance (to explain). Let the discussion between them take place first. We will then tell you," said party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit.

Asked whether action could be taken against Verma as it was done in case of former AICC general secretary Margaret Alva in 2008 over her allegation that tickets were sold during Karnataka Assembly elections, he said "right now you watch what happens...What he (Verma) tells the party high command..

"It is an established policy in the party that if anybody has any issues, he should first say it in the party fora," Dikshit said.

Dikshit was replying to questions whether Congress agrees with Verma`s remarks or if not whether any action will follow against the Union Minister whose remarks in past have also landed Congress in an embarassing situation.

When contacted, Mistri refused to give details of the conversation he had with the senior OBC leader of the party in Uttar Pradesh last evening and this morning.

"Both of us will meet and sort it out. We will deal with it within the party fora. This is a party matter. These are the things we need not discuss in public," the AICC general secretary said but parried questions on whether Verma will be summoned by the AICC or he will go to meet him.

The AICC general secretary is going on his first visit to UP from June 28 after taking charge of the state.

Talking to reporters in Lucknow yesterday, Verma had alleged Samajwadi Party candidates were even financed by some Congress leaders and they worked as B-team of SP and passed on information to them.

He had also said, "the Congress is being sold for the past 20 years. The tickets were given to such persons who spent the money given to them by the party for the benefit of SP candidates".

Dikshit said "many a time, he (Verma) says something in his style. Many times, he says things which are not in consonance with the party`s view....When leaders have been given a party forum, they should speak there".

Verma, who had been a former friend and colleague of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Samajwadi Party, has been attacking Yadav for quite a few months putting Congress in an embarassing position as UPA is being supported from outside by SP.

A few months back, when Verma alleged that the SP chief had links with terrorists, Congress had snubbed him saying the party does not share the view and those in public life should speak with decorum.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had also told the SP chief that she does not approve of such comments, which brought an end to the controversy.

Beni also expressed "regret", stopping short of making an apology as demanded by the SP.

However, the war words resumed with the Union Minister, a few days back, again hitting out at SP saying coming Lok Sabha elections will mark the "funeral procession" of SP.
Some Congress leaders are also of the view that Verma could be warming up to BSP, SP`s main rival in UP, while others believe that he is unlikely to leave the party.