Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Saturday criticised Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma for his recent comments against the party and said his remarks should not be taken as the stand of the Congress.
"Verma is a senior person. He was associated with the SP for a long time. I can understand his frustration. His son (Rakesh Verma) has lost twice to our candidates (in assembly polls)," SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav told media.
"What he says should not be taken as Congress' stand," he said.
The SP has reportedly demanded his removal from the Union Ministry.
Verma continued his attacks on Mulayam Singh Yadav' SP with his recent comment that it will win only four seats in the next general elections and that there will be a funeral procession for the party.
According to the minister, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samjawadi Party (BSP) has huge probability to win as good as 36 seats in the north India state in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming general elections.
"Congress will contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. We will win 40 seats, BSP may get 36, but SP will get only four seats for its funeral procession," Verma told media.
Verma advised the Congress to solve issues with Mayawati.
Earlier, Verma had triggered a controversy when he said SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had links with terrorists.
"He has relations with the terrorists," Verma said while speaking at a function in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district.
However, getting rebuked by his own party, he said,"I am sorry if my remarks have hurt anybody's sentiments."
After several hints of pull-out, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said his SP would keep supporting the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre to keep "communal forces" at bay.
Mulayam Singh Yadav had earlier, used expressions like "dhokebaaz" and "chalak" (cheats, clever) for Congress at a rally. But the veteran politician later said he would support the UPA government.
The Congress depends heavily on SP's support at the Centre after the pullout by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) over the Sri Lanka issue last week.