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Beni barbs leave Cong in dilemma over his future

Beni barbs leave Cong in dilemma over his future
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The Congress high command is at its wits end in trying to control steel minister Beni Prasad Verma’s unending barbs against Samajwadi Party leadership. While there is a belief that Verma had initially attacked SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav on a tacit understanding with the party high command, they did not expect him to go overboard with the criticism.

‘The party bosses are unhappy with Beni’s verbal attacks on SP, especially after TMC and DMK pulled out of the government. It has created a situation where the Samajwadi Party is seeking his scalp and it’s getting increasingly difficult not to accede to their demand,’ said a senior Congress leader.

The war of words between the Congress and the SP intensified on Sunday, as senior SP leader Shivpal Yadav took on Beni calling him a ‘drug addict’. ‘Charas mila lete hain cigarette mein aur afeem ki taskari bhi karte hain (Beni mixes drugs in cigarettes and is also involved in smuggling of drugs),’ said Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother and senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav attacking Verma.

While Beni on Friday had pooh-poohed electoral prospects of the Samajwadi Party inviting snide remarks from UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, on Sunday he remained silent despite the scathing personal attack on him. He had also accused Mulayam Singh Yadav of cheating Muslims over the Babri Masjid issue.

Beni was initially let loose in UP to create ‘disaffection’ among the voters about the ruling Samajwadi Party in order to reap the harvest of anti-incumbency in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. ‘Though Beni initially got the go-ahead from the top brass to criticise Mulayam, he went overboard to settle personal scores,’ said a senior Congress leader. ‘The Congress plans to strengthen its presence in Uttar Pradesh and the current verbal volley from Beni Prasad has left it with a rap on its own knuckles,’ added the leader.
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