March 30, 2013 was just yet
another day, in the life of Indians like any other day, and so witnessed
political games like it happens on any other day. But on certain days, the frustrating developments contributing to the democratic ironies of these political games get so pathetic that they start
sounding comical. March 30 was like one of
those days only when one was compelled to feel so. Similar things are happening
on every other day, but at some points of time, they test your patience to the
extremes that the ironies instigate satirical innuendos giving one some smiles
That is the ugly aspect of
it because it shows growing apathy among the masses on the irrelevance of the
present political class elected by them. This apathy blocks the drive to fight
the seriousness of the problem by wrapping it with mundane ignorance.
So sample this:
After a brief lull, the Beni
Prasad Verma-Mulayam Singh Yadav verbal duel got back to its full life again. Beni, the Congress party member of parliament (MP) from
Uttar Pradesh and the Union Steel Minister, started firing shots again at his
old colleague, Samajwadi Party boss Mulayam Singh Yadav. Incidentally, Beni
left the SP boat before the 2007 UP assembly polls to join the Congress party
ship later in 2009 to harness the greener pastures.
But Beni has been unable to
create any ground for the Congress party in UP where the party is nothing but a
dead political entity in spite of the fact that the Nehru-Gandhi family hails
from the state and Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are elected MPs from
traditional Congress party bastions, Amethi and Rae Bareli. And if we go by the
media reports, even Priyanka Gandhi is preparing to take electoral dip and Rae
Bareli could well be her address too, after the next Lok Sabha elections.
Ok, but here it is Beni Vs
Mulayam or Beni Vs SP. Many consider Beni, an influential
Kurmi leader in the past, as the political mentor of Mulayam Singh Yadav. With
dwindling Kurmi politics in the state, he was gradually sidelined in the SP. After
leaving the SP, he couldn’t leave any political impact through his outfit,
Samajwadi Kranti Dal. He had left SP at a bitter note and the verbal
crackers that we are witnessing to this day have their genesis in that.
So, on March 30, Beni, in his
usual bitter tongue, proclaimed the next Lok Sabha elections would indeed be
the funeral of the SP restricting the party to just four of the 80 Lok Sabha
seats from UP. He also alleged Mulayam to cheat Muslims on Babri issue.
Though, we didn’t see Mulayam
taking charge on this, we had Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav and some others filling
Akhilesh, the UP CM, said it
would be the Congress party’s doom and the party would not be able to win more
than 4-5 seats. SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav reiterated Mulayam’s words
saying it was Verma’s frustration due to the two successive defeats of his son
in the assembly elections.
Mulayam’s remarks came a day
before in an interview (1): “Beni Prasad
Verma has no status. His son contested elections and he lost even his deposit.
He lost all 5 seats from the constituency where he is an MP. He is just
flattering Congress. He behaves as if he's the only leader left in Congress
Another SP General Secretary Ram
Asrey Kushwaha said Beni had lost his mental
balance and demanded his removal from the Union Cabinet. The recent episode had
begun some days ago with Beni accusing Mulayam
of having terror links. Mulayam’s party made it an issue and disrupted the
Parliament’s proceedings creating pandemonium. The party was demanding apology
and Beni’s removal from the Union
had to apologise to Mulayam over his comments as the support withdrawal by the
DMK on Sri Lankan Tamils issue put the government’s survival on thin edge making
it to placate the SP to manage the numbers in the Lok Sabha. The apology, it
seems, somewhat softened Mulayam Singh Yadav because we didn’t hear anyone from
the SP reiterating the demand to remove Beni
from the Union Cabinet until on March 30.
With the latest tirade, the pitch
was high again on March 30 renewing the demand of Beni’s
And interestingly, some media
sources reported that the UPA government was considering removing Beni from the Union Cabinet. An NDTV report said (2): “Samajwadi
Party sources say the Congress has assured the party that controversial Union
minister Beni Prasad Verma - who has been
relentless in his public attacks on the SP and its chief Mulayam Yadav - will
be dropped from the Union cabinet.”
Let’s see what happens next.
Let’s wait to see how this sources-based news plays out in reality. But there
was more in the store.
On March 31, a day after the
latest run of jibes came the heavy punch from Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam’s brother
and a minister in the UP government. He declared Beni
a smuggler. He said: “You all know and you have also read that Beni Prasad smokes a lot. These days he is smoking a
lot... he mixes something in the tobacco. He should undergo treatment for this.
You have read also that he is into smuggling of opium. He mixes charas in his
cigarettes. He is doing both these things. So his mind will be affected.”
So decorated words by our
policymakers, for our policymakers – comically interesting! Isn't it?