LUCKNOW || Veteran Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Beni Prasad Verma passed away at a Lucknow hospital late on Friday. He was 79 and was battling old age-related ailments for some time now. As the news of his demise broke, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav reached the hospital with senior party colleagues and offered his tributes to the departed leader.
A close friend of SP founder and three-time UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Verma was one of the tallest leaders that the party had from the OBC.
Akhilesh Yadav while mourning the demise of Verma recalled his contribution in bringing up the party. Born on February 11, 1941 in Sirsauli village of Barabanki district, Verma was one of the tallest socialist leaders of the state and served as a minister of state and cabinet minister in the United Front governments at the centre.
He briefly quit the SP and joined the Congress only to return to the party fold in 2016 after which he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.