Claiming to be on a mission to make “mature enough” Rahul Gandhi the country’s next Prime Minister, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma has started putting his recently launched forum —Dalit, Pichhara aur Alpasankhyak Manch — to best use: by criticising state congress cadres who, the minister says, have become “ineffective”.
The forum, launched by Beni without senior Congress leaders having any knowledge of it, will soon hold meetings (similar to the one in Lucknow) in four different regions of the state starting from Azamgarh.
While Beni would be the chief guest on all occasions, no other party leader has been invited to attend these meetings.
The forum’s general secretary, D K Anand, who had joined Congress after quitting Samajwadi party in 1997, accused the Congress workers in the state of “working like second line workers of other political parties”.
“Our mission is to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister, and since the workers here have failed, Babuji (Beni) has decided to take up the responsibility of touring the state and uniting the three communities (Dalits, Backwards and Minorities) for the benefit of Congress,” Anand said.
Apparently, this creation of a separate forum – the main focus of which at present happens to be on the “ineffective” state Congress workers – is drawing reactions from leaders who have been advised by party high command to “avoid making any direct statement on Beni”, according to sources in the party.
“It is demoralising. He (Beni) and his men in the party can do whatever they want to in his parliamentary constituency,” one party leader said. He went ahead to allege that “Beni is creating a divide within Congress in Uttar Pradesh”.
As for the steel minister, who had alleged in the past that “Congressmen in UP had worked as B-team of Samajwadi Party during the 2012 Assembly election”, the forum is where the path to success – “Rahul as PM” – lies, which is why he has decided to continue holding “conventions and meetings at district and divisional level through this manch until Rahul gives time for an address meeting here in Lucknow”.