New Delhi: Congress on Monday virtually
snubbed Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma making it clear that
it will sit in the Opposition in Uttar Pradesh if it does not
not get majority.
"Congress will form a government if it gets majority.
It will sit in the Opposition if it does not. The party has
not changed its position so far," party general secretary
Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters on the eve of counting of
votes in UP and four other states.
Dwivedi, who is also AICC media department chairman,
sought to silence leaders like Verma who have been giving
"individual" views on the issue. Verma created a flutter with
his remarks BSP will be a better ally for Congress if it does
not get majority.
"Individuals may have different views but decision is
that of the party, which is binding on all. It is also true
in the case of Uttar Pradesh", Dwivedi said.
His remarks also came in the wake of party MP P L
Punia, a friend-turned-foe of BSP supremo Mayawati, who has
vehemently ruled out any post-poll tie-up with BSP, dismissing
Verma's remarks as "absolutely personal".
Verma is a known detractor of SP supremo Mulayam
Singh Yadav, whose close associate he was till a few years
back. Punia was the pointsman of Mayawati having been her
Principal Secretary when she was Chief Minister earlier.
Union Minister Rajeev Shukla claimed that Congress
will play a crucial role in formation of the next government
in Uttar Pradesh
"We will cross the bridge when we come to it. The
results have not yet come... To talk about the results before
they are out is hypothetical. Congress will have a crucial
role in government formation (in UP), Shukla told reporters
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary
refused to go into such speculation when asked about the
"We had no pre-poll alliance with these parties. We are
not yet in the post-poll scenario. Why cross the bridge.....?"
was her refrain to a volley of questions on the issue.
Asked whether Verma's opinion is not that of the party
said, Chowdhary said "those decisions are taken by party
Shukla said "those (Verma's remarks) are not party's
views. He must have said in his personal capacity."
Punia was more forthright in dismissing Verma's
"We have fought this Assembly election against the
goondaism and corruption of BSP and SP. So, there is
absolutely no question of aligning with BSP at all. He (Verma)
may have his personal opinion. Congress party is also not
subscribing to the views expressed by Verma. These are
absolutely his personal views," he said.
A senior party leader, speaking on the condition of
anonymity, said Congress has already burnt its hands by
aligning with these parties in the past and won't like to be
looking like a B team of somebody in UP again when it has
long-term goals in the state.
Asked about UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi's statement
that that the party would have done better had the leaders
spoken a little less, Chowhdary said she is PCC chief and her
statement has to be accepted in her official capacity.
There is a view in the party that off-the-cuff remarks
being made by the party leaders are not doing any good to