New Delhi: With Samajwadi Party staying firm on its stand for removal of Beni Prasad Verma as Union Minister, Chairperson of the beleaguered UPA, Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday reached out to Mulayam Singh Yadav asking him with folded hands to give up his demand for Verma’s resignation.
Samajwadi Party got support from unexpected quarters when Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj backed Yadav and said in the Lower House that Verma's charge against the SP chief of taking commissions was a breach of privilege. She said the matter should be referred to the Privileges Committee.

Gandhi, who was present in the House and was watching the new bonhomie between SP, an outside supporter of the government, and BJP, walked upto Yadav's seat soon after Lok Sabha was adjourned around noon. Though she was not audible to reporters in the press gallery, Gandhi was seen talking to Yadav with folded hands.
During the conversation, Yadav complained about Verma to Gandhi, who requested him to give up his demand for the Minister's resignation, according to SP sources.
BJP members, as well as senior ministers of the UPA government, were taken aback at this. Soon after Gandhi left Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (SP) came over to Swaraj and LK Advani to inform them about the development and said they were still firm on their stand, the sources said.
Yadav too walked upto the BJP benches and reiterated his stand. Verma, who was not present in the House on Wednesday, later met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He then publicly expressed regret over his remarks. These developments have come at a time when government said the crisis has blown over and "the matter is closed".
"I had expressed regret over the matter the day before Tuesday in the House. They (SP) have not raised the issue after that. I met them yesterday and they are satisfied and the matter is closed," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters here before the Lok Sabha met.
SP's demand has come at a time when the government needs its support in the wake of DMK walking out of UPA.


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