`Amar Singh should not be taken back in SP`

Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma, a former SP leader, has cautioned the party against taking back Amar Singh in its fold.

Lucknow: Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma, a former SP leader, has cautioned the party against taking back Amar Singh in its fold amidst reports of a rapprochement between him and the party.

He advised SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to re-think before taking back Amar Singh in the party, saying that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will suffer, if such a decision was taken by him.

"The future of SP is with Akhilesh and he will have to suffer due to the wrong decision, if taken, of Mulayam to take back Amar Singh", Verma told a news agency.

On speculation in the media regarding his re-entry in SP, Verma said that there was no such chance of his quitting Congress.

"There is no chance of my re-entry into SP...Why will I do so? I don`t want to become an MLA and at the Centre SP has only a supporting role to play...I will remain with Congress for the rest of my life", the Union Steel Minister said.

He said his "softness" towards the SP supremo is "natural" as he is supporting the UPA government.

"Yes I am soft towards Mulayam...It`s natural as he is supporting our government. Mulayam has good relations with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh...And as I am the minister in the UPA government, I have soft corner with Mualayam, with whom I had worked for 35 years", he said.

Asked about his `political rivalry` with Mulayam, Verma said that it will continue in Lok Sabha polls in the days to come.

On the functioning of the UP government, Verma said that he would give full marks to him as he was honest and running a "neat and clean" government till now.

"I think whatever lacunae is there in the government, it will be taken care of by Akhilesh in the days to come," Verma said.

Describing himself as the "political father" of Akhilesh, Verma advised Mulayam to "inspire" him to take bold decisions and not to interfere in the functioning of his government.

"Mulayam is only the biological father of Akhilesh and I am his political father. In this capacity I advise Mulayam to inspire Akhilesh to take bold decisions and support him for the same", Verma said.

On FDI in multi-brand retail, Verma said it is an "essential injection" to boost the health of the country`s economy and pointed out that those opposing it, including TMC and BJP, had included it in their election manifestos earlier.

"FDI is good for farmers as they will be getting good money for their produce", he said.

About its implementation in UP as SP government has opposed it, Verma said that he would talk to Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav also and ask them to allow FDI in the state.

On the party`s poor performance in the state in assembly polls, Verma said, "We could not perform well in the assembly polls not because of the opposition but because of partymen themselves. In Lok Sabha polls, equations will be different and Congress will certainly perform well".

Asked about chances of third-front forming next government and Mulayam becoming prime minister, Verma said that after 2014 polls, Rahul Gandhi would become prime minister and Mulayam Singh Yadav will support him.