Beni unapologetic about distributing gifts to scribes
Faizabad (UP): Facing criticism for distributing cash and gifts to journalists in Lucknow, Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma was on Wednesday unapologetic and even said those attacking him were "fools" as he was only "investing money to get good returns".
Addressing a press conference here, Verma accepted that he had distributed cash and other items, and said, "I have earned so I am distributing...I am a trader, I know where to invest money to get good returns."
He said he was distributing money from the amount earned by his ministry.
The Steel Ministry has earned Rs 10,000 crore, he said.
"Why are people criticising me for spending Rs 2 crore on journalists? Journalists work for us, do our publicity... those who are criticising me for this act are fools," he said.
The Minister said he is soon going to give "handsome things" to journalists in Faizabad and adjoining areas also.
The beneficiaries included Congress workers from Verma`s home district Barabanki, his constituency Gonda and local journalists who have been made members of the Council with the tenure till March 31, 2014, sources had said yesterday.
SP and BJP had criticised the minister for making Congress activists and journalists members of Steel Consumers` Council and distributing cash and gifts to them at its meeting.
More than 1,000 members were given cash, mobile and a trolley bag each at the 24th meeting of the Council held in Lucknow on Monday, and over Rs 1 crore were spent on it, sources had said.
Condemning the act, BJP chief spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak had demanded a high-level probe into the matter.
Samajwadi Party leader Om Prakash Singh had said it was unfortunate that a central minister was involved in such an act. "If he (Beni) thinks he could win hearts of people by distributing money and gifts, he is wrong," Singh had said.
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