Party of Dalits better than party of goons, says Beni Prasad Verma

New Delhi: Barely hours after Union Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma pitched for a post-poll alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the Congress chief in UP, clarified that Mr Verma's views are different from the party's position and are his personal opinion.

"You know Beni ji. He is a man of independent thinking... these are his individual views. That's his take. That is not the party position... If we get a majority then we will form the government. Otherwise we will sit in the opposition," said Ms Joshi.

"Congress has the key to form the government in Uttar Pradesh and we will form the government. If we have to take support, then BSP is better than SP. SP is a party of goons, the whole state will be troubled by them. The BSP is a party of the Dalits," Mr Verma had said earlier today.

Mr Verma's views have also been rejected as personal by other Congress leaders including Pramod Tiwari, UP Congress Legislature Party chief, and party General Secretary Rashid Alvi.

As the final phase of polling ended in Uttar Pradesh yesterday, exit polls conducted by TV channels projected Samajwadi Party (SP) in the lead in a hung house while one channel has given Mulayam Singh Yadav's party a clear majority by predicting that it may get upto 210 seats in an assembly of 403 in UP.

However, Ms Joshi said that a lot of importance should not be given to the exit polls. "We don't agree with the exit polls, we should wait for results to come out. The true picture is going to be far different from these exit polls," said Ms Joshi.

Even as Mr Verma hinted at a post-poll alliance with the BSP, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh's son Jayant Chaudhary had hinted at a post-poll tie-up with the SP. The RLD chied today denied those reports. Mr Singh insisted that his party continues to remain with the Congress and will do so in the future. (Read: No tie-up with Samajwadi Party, says Ajit Singh)

"Our alliance is with Congress...whatever we do in Uttar Pradesh will be with Congress...This news is not true...there is no truth in this rumour," Mr Singh said.

Counting for the assembly polls in five states including Uttar Pradesh, held over the last one month, will take place on March 6.
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