SP, BSP MPs clash in Rajya Sabha over quota bill
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Wednesday witnessed high drama as a scuffle broke out between SP and BSP members when the government introduced a contentious Constitution amendment bill to provide reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government jobs.
The bill, which circumvents a Supreme Court order quashing such a decision of Uttar Pradesh government in April, seeks to bring certainty and clarity in the matter by substituting a clause of Article 16 of the Constitution.
In a bid to wriggle out of the logjam over the coal controversy, Government has decided to move the bill for consideration and passage tomorrow but BJP, which has been disrupting Parliament for the last two weeks, is unrelenting.
Meanwhile, hinting at trouble in getting the promotion quota bill passed in Parliament, the government said there is little time during the Monsoon Session, with the Prime Minister reviewing the situation along with home and defence ministers.
"There is little time left in this session of Parliament... Let us see tomorrow (Thursday)," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters as he ventured out of a review meeting called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
PM’s meet came after a scuffle broke out in Parliament as soon as Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien asked the government to move the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012.
Members of SP, a party opposed to the bill, were on their feet and party MP Naresh Agrawal proceeded towards the Well.
He was encountered by BSP member Avatar Singh Karimpuri, who grabbed the SP member by his collar to prevent him from trooping into the Well.
At this, other members from the BSP including Brajesh Pathak immediately intervened and held back Karimpuri.
Tempers ran high as the scuffle continued for a few minutes before Karimpuri was finally made to take his seat. Soon marshals were called in the House.
Amid the commotion, the bill was introduced by Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present when the incident took place. Six SP members including Ramgopal Yadav and Agrawal then rushed to the Well shouting slogans saying promotion in reservations would not be allowed.
However, Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav appears adamant on opposing the Bill; he said that his party won’t allow the Bill, in its current form, to be passed.
On the rival side also, divisions came to surface with JD-U supporting the bill and Shiv Sena strongly opposing it.
The BJP, whose support the BSP sought for quick passage, has said it stands for social justice "subject to the limitation of Constitutional permissibility".
The party said it has conveyed to the Rajya Sabha Chairman that it was willing for a debate but before that the government should take effective steps to resolve the Parliamentary stalemate by cancelling the coal block allocations and ordering an independent inquiry.
The talk in political circles is that major parties like Congress and BJP are also said to be facing some sort of resistance from sections within and a parallel is being drawn to the Women's Reservation Bill, which is still in a limbo.
BJP has 49 members in the 245-member Rajya Sabha while Congress has a strength of 70. BSP has 15, SP and TMC have nine each, DMK seven and NCP ten members.
With PTI inputs