Beni Prasad Verma apologises for Mulayam remark

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New Delhi, March 20: Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Wednesday apologised to Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, whom he had termed a terrorist a few days ago. He also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

After Verma apologised, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi told Mulayam that Verma's views did not reflect that of her party.

The SP chief met the PM later and said he would take the final call on Verma on Thursday morning. He also refused to take any question on Verma's regret on his remark.

Earlier, the SP said that it wanted the Union minister to apologise on the floor of the parliament. Initially, the party demanded Verma's resignation for his remarks against Yadav and had the backing of BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.

Political observers felt the Congress rebuked Verma so that it did not annoy a crucial supporter in its days of survival crisis. The Congress-led UPA government has been reduced into a minority after the DMK pulled out of the alliance on the issue of atrocities against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The Trinamool Congress, another ally, had withdrawn from the UPA in September last year owing to differences with the Congress over economic policies.

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