New Delhi: The controversial remark by Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has become a sticking point with SP staying firm on its stand for removal of Verma from the government.

More so, the regret expressed by Verma has failed to pacify the Samajwadi Party which is unwilling to accept anything less than an apology.

Verma, a former Samajwadi Party leader, had accused Mulayam of having links with terrorists at a public rally Sunday. Since then, a miffed Samajwadi Party has been demanding Verma's resignation.

Verma expresses regret

Amid pressure from SP and within Congress, Verma on Wednesday apologised for his remarks critical of Mulayam.

"I am sorry if my remarks have hurt any body's sentiments," Verma told reporters after a brief meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

SP to decide on Thursday

With SP refusing to budge from its position over Verma’s removal, Mulayam kept UPA guessing as SP was said to take a call on its demand on Thursday.

The SP will take the decision on Verma's regret on Thursday, party MP Shailendra Kumar told reporters.

"We will take a decision on Beni Prasad's regret tomorrow (Thursday) morning at the parliamentary party meeting," Kumar said, following a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

More trouble for UPA

Earlier in the day, trouble seemed to mount for beleaguered UPA government after its ally Samajwadi Party (SP) reiterated its demand for resignation of Verma over his controversial ‘terrorist remarks’.

READ MORE: Sonia urges Mulayam to resolve Beni mess

Parliament was disrupted on Wednesday as the Samajwadi Pary demanded the resignation of Steel Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma.

In the Lok Sabha, SP members raised the issue of alleged comments made by Verma against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the house till noon and later till 12.30.

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.

SP’s demand came at a time when the UPA government is already struggling to maintain a majority after its ally DMK withdrew its support on Sri Lakan Tamil issue.

Seeking to mollify SP at the time of crisis, Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday reached out to Mulayam asking him with folded hands to give up his demand for his resignation.

(JPN/Agencies)

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