New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Beni Prasad Verma, who hasthrived on anti-Congress activism for a greater part of hispolitical career, returns to the Union Council of Ministersafter a gap of over a decade.
70-year-old Verma, a prominent Kurmi (backward) leaderfrom Uttar Pradesh, was Union minister for Communicationsbetween 1996 and 1998, during the United Front regime. He willbe the Minister of State with Independent charge of SteelMinistry.
Verma was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and2004 from the Kaiserganj constituency. In 2009, he representedGonda Lok Sabha constituency in UP as a Congress nominee.A former minister in Uttar Pradesh, Verma had heldvarious portfolios in successive governments.
Once considered close to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,Verma fell apart following differences. In 2008, Vermaannounced his intention to contest the general elections on aCongress ticket and won from Gonda in 2009.
During his association with Samajwadi Party, Verma wasa powerful general secretary and had opposed the growinginfluence of Amar Singh in the party.
During his long political innings, Verma has beenassociated with the Janata Party, Bharatiya Lok Dal and JanataDal.