Balrampur: Barely had the controversy over his accusations on Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav died down, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Friday again fired a salvo at his one-time party chief.
The Union Steel Minister has now said that the Samajwadi Party will be able to claim victory on just four seats in the upcoming General Elections and that there will be a funeral procession for the party.
Verma went on to predict that the Congress will win 40 seats in Uttar Pradesh.
"Congress will fight all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP and will win 40. We will not let BJP win more than 10 seats. Behenji (Mayawati) will win 36. And of whom you are talking about (SP) will win four seats and there will be a funeral procession for that party," the Congress leader told reporters here.
The union minister seems to have got his arithmetic somewhat amiss -- there are 80, not 90 -- Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh.
He was replying to questions on the prospects of various parties in UP in the next Lok Sabha polls.
Some days back, Verma faced the ire of the SP after he alleged that Mulayam Singh Yadav received "commission" for supporting the central government. Earlier, Verma had said Yadav had links with terrorists. He later expressed regret at his comments. Verma, recently, in an indirect attack on Mulayam Singh, said he failed to understand how could a man, who worked for the benefit of his family, claim to be a socialist.
Verma, who was addressing a `Holi milan` function at Uttraula last evening, alleged that the SP contested Gujarat Assembly Elections to benefit Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The minister alleged the state government was trying to take political mileage by distributing laptops from funds meant for the development of minorities and Dalits.
He said ensuring defeat of the SP and victory of Congress has become the objective of his life.
The Congress leader also alleged that the "state government was distributing cheques of Rs 20 lakh to those involved in killing of DSP Zia-ul-Haq in Pratapgarh and history-sheeters".
Reacting to the statement of Beni Prasad Verma, senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, however, said that he "understood the frustration of Verma as SP candidates had caused the loss of many candidates close to him."
He also clarified that as far as the SP was concerned, the statements of Beni Prasad Verma were now not being seen as the official stand of Congress.
Verma`s comment came amidst a tiff between the Congress and the SP. Albeit Mulayam Singh Yadav has ruled out withdrawing support to the UPA government, yet the SP chief speculated that the General Elections due in April-May 2014 could be held by November 2013.