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Updated: January 4, 2010 20:10 IST

Congress tight-lipped about its MP backing BSP in U.P. polls

Special Correspondent
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Congress MP Beni Prasad Verma.
PTI Congress MP Beni Prasad Verma.

Congress MP Beni Prasad Verma's support for the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council election from the local authorities constituencies has attracted criticism from his party members as the Congress will be contesting against the ruling party in the polls to be held on January 7.

Mr. Verma, who is the MP from Kaiserganj has announced his support for the BSP's Hargovind Singh in the election from the Barabanki local authority constituency. His decision has drawn flak from the Congress as the BSP is considered its main political adversary in the State. However, no disciplinary action was forthcoming against the former Samajwadi Party rebel.

The former minister ad announced his support for the BSP candidate on Saturday and reiterated his decision at a press conference in Barabanki on Sunday. The Congress had not fielded its candidate in Barabanki local authority constituency and Mr. Verma stated that he took the decision in order to defeat the Samajwadi Party nominee.

The Congress MP reportedly claimed that he has the “silent approval” for his decision to back the BSP from the AICC general secretary and in charge for UP affairs, Digvijay Singh. However, sources close to the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister rejected Mr. Verma's claim.

Congressmen have been quick to dissociate themselves from Mr. Verma's stand. His move was dubbed as his individual decision and not that of the Congress Party. Among those who have not taken kindly to Mr. Verma's decision is the Congress MP from Barabanki and former State bureaucrat, P.L. Punia. Party sources said the Congress would ensure the defeat of the BSP candidate in Barabanki.

Though elected MP from Kaiserganj, Barabanki is the home district of Mr. Verma and his decision to support the BSP candidate has been taken with an eye on the next Vidhan Sabha elections in U.P. It has been alleged that he was basically interested procuring a BSP ticket in the 2012 Assembly polls for his son, Rakesh Verma.

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