Besides alleging that Mulayam has links with terrorists,Verma also accused him of taking commission for supporting the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.
Addressing a public function in Gonda yesterday,Verma had said: Samajwadi Party nahin,sirf Mulayam Singh Yadav kharab hai. Unka apradhik jeevan raha hai,aur aatankwadiyon se bhi unka rishta hai. Bahut jald Mulayam Tihar Jail janey ko taiyyar rahein. Mulayam zaher ka ghoont pe rahe hain,aur Congress ko samarthan de rahey hain,aur commission bhi kha rahey hain. (It is not SP,but Mulayam who is a bad person. He has a criminal background and even has relations with terrorists. Mulayam should be ready to go to Tihar Jail very soon. He is extending support to Congress under compulsion,and taking commission for this.)
He added: Mulayam ne hamesha apney virodhiyon ko dushman ki tarah liya hai. Mulayam looterey key sath gundey bhi hain. (Mulayam has always treated his opponents as his enemy. Mulayam is not only a dacoit but also a goon.)
While Verma today defended his remarks in the Lok Sabha,Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath expressed regret and condemned his statements.
Speaking during zero hour,Mulayam said,I have been called a terrorist. Unless the minister is dismissed,we cannot have peace. If it is proved that I am a terrorist,I may be sent to jail or he should be dismissed. Claiming that Verma had said that all Muslims are terrorists,Mulayam said he should tender an apology.
Nath,who often has to fall back on Mulayam for mobilising the numbers in both Houses,obseved that his (Mulayams) stature and his place is not like an ordinary member… he is the leader of his party. Stating that he respects his feelings,Nath said such allegations,observations… it is not a question of whether you belong to the ruling party or opposition… we condemn this,all of us condemn this.
Braving SPs protests,Verma said there was no question of an apology. I did not link terrorism to any religion, he told the Lok Sabha. Stating that the demolition of Babri Masjid and the post-Godhra riots were both terrorist incidents. he said Mulayam had joined hands with those who demolished Babri Masjid,like Kalyan Singh… his party also helped BJP win in Gujarat.
As SP members continued to demand Vermas resignation,the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice before adjourning for the day. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned once before the chair called it a day.
Speaking to the media later,Verma said he stood by his remarks. When asked about Mulayams demand for his resignation,Verma remarked: Has he made me a minister?
The Congress sought to distance itself from Vermas stand. In politics,everyone should observe restraint in the use of language… Mulayam is the head of the party supporting the government. Verma is a minister in that government, said AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.
The kind of language used by Verma against Mulayam is condemnable… We are opponents of Mulayam and his politics,but there should should be civility in political discourse, said BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad. He dared Mulayam to withdraw support if SP has even a bit of self-respect.