The war of words between the Samajwadi Party and Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma war turned personal on Sunday with SP leader Shivpal Yadav accusing the Union Minister of smuggling opium and using charas.
"You all know and you have also read that Beni Prasad smokes a lot. These days he is smoking a lot, he mixes something in the tobacco. He should undergo treatment for that. You have also read that he is into smuggling of opium. He mixes charas in his cigarettes. He is doing both these things, so his mind will be affected," Shivpal Yadav told reporters.
The fresh salvo came a day after Beni said there will be a "funeral procession" for SP after the next Lok Sabha elections and predicted that it will win only four seats in Uttar Pradesh.
Beni had also accused SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav of “cheating Muslims” over the Babri Masjid issue.
"Mulayam has cheated Muslims...He did not do anything to save the Babri Masjid," he told reporters in Lucknow on Saturday.
The SP, while demanding Beni's removal from the Union Cabinet, over the "funeral procession" comment, said he has lost his "mental balance".
Hitting back at Beni, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav appeared to suggest that the Congress will get no more than four to five seats.
"Parties which struggled to get 5,000-10,000 votes in the assembly polls in most of the constituencies will be able to win not more than 4-5 seats out of 80 in Lok Sabha elections," Akhilesh had told reporters in Allahabad.
SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said Beni held a grudge against the party for the successive defeats of his son Rakesh in the assembly polls.
Beni had recently triggered a storm by alleging that Mulayam had "terrorist links", leading to calls for his removal from the Union ministry. He had later expressed regret over his remarks after being ticked off by the Congress leadership.