A Samajwadi Party and a Bahujan Samaj Party MP nearly came to blows in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday as they clashed over the contentious bill which seeks to introduce quotas in promotions for SCs and STs in government jobs,embarrassing the upper house which is known for its decorum.
Although Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy managed to introduce the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill,2012 despite the trouble,the house could not discuss it as BJP members continued to disrupt the house demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in connection with the coal block allotment controversy.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters later that there was not enough time to pass the bill,which was cleared by the Cabinet on Tuesday,in the current session which ends Friday.
The amendment aims to negate a Supreme Court judgment of April which had set aside quotas in promotions provided by the previous BSP government in Uttar Pradesh on the ground that the same did not meet the criteria laid down in an earlier judgment.
On Wednesday,the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for an hour soon after it assembled as slogan-shouting BJP MPs did not allow any business to be transacted. While BJP members resumed their protest when the house met again at noon,SP members,who are opposed to the amendment,were also on their feet as the government was expected to introduce the bill.
SP MP Naresh Agrawal walked towards the well of the house when he was stopped by BSP MP Avtar Singh Karimpuri. The BSP supports the amendment. As the house watched,Karimpuri grabbed Agrawals collar to stop him from moving ahead. The two members also pushed each other and jostled briefly before marshals and other MPs intervened and separated them.
But the two would not settle down,and more BSP MPs had to restrain Karimpuri and force him back in his seat. However,Agrawal and five other SP members went to the well of the house shouting that they would not allow quotas in promotions. Agrawal also tried to reach Deputy Chairman P J Kurien but was stopped by marshals.