Notwithstanding Congress' reprimand, Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Saturday intensified his attack on his friend-turned foe Mulayam Singh Yadav accusing him of conniving with BJP to flare up communal passions and dared the SP leader to a public debate on Babri issue.
He alleged that BJP was trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the state by creating tension on the Ram temple issue which would benefit the saffron brigade and the SP.
He also questioned why the Samjwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh had not recommended an NIA probe into the custodial death of terror suspect Khalid Mujahid, an accused in serial blasts that had rocked Lucknow and Faizabad courts in November 2007, and suggested that right wing Hindu outfits could have been behind the attack.
"Mulayam should come on a platform face to face against meon Babri mosque issue. I will reply to him and he should reply to my questions," Verma told reporters here.
The Minister said that Mulayam had stated that a CBI inquiry should be conducted into allegations against him on Babri issue but if the SP is serious, its government in Uttar Pradesh should make a recommendation on the issue to the Centre.
"CBI or NIA conducts an inquiry only when either the court orders or the state government recommends. The state government should recommend the inquiry and I will make all efforts to get it done," he said.
He asked why a CBI inquiry was not ordered into killing of Hindus in Ayodhya. "SP and BJP are colluding. After Godhra incident, SP contested elections in Gujarat.
During debate in Parliament, Sushma Swaraj sided with Mulayam," he alleged. He alleged that BJP was confident that the issue would flare communal passion in the state which would benefit the saffron brigade and SP.
"It is part of their strategy," he alleged. He said that he was "clarifying things" so that tension should not spread among Hindu and Muslims and urged people to vote on merit in Lok Sabha elections.
He claimed that going by the happening since 1990, it was clear that SP and BJP "were acting in connivance".