Mayawati lashes out at Ansari
BSP supremo upset over delay in quota bill
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Wednesday stunned the Rajya Sabha by taking on Chairman Hamid Ansari over frequent disruptions in the House, because of which the Upper House was adjourned for a day without transacting much business.
Mayawati was upset over the delay in consideration of a bill for providing quota for SCs/STs in government job promotions.
Around 11:30 am when the Question Hour was in progress and Commerce and Textile Minister Anand Sharma was replying to queries, Mayawati got up and made her outbursts. She, along with her party colleagues, rushed into the House and started venting ire even before taking her seat.
“We have seen in the last few days that every day the House is not allowed to function after 12 noon. You are Chairman of the House. It is your responsibility to ensure that it functions,” the BSP supremo said addressing the Chair.
A visibly shocked Ansari replied: “You are a senior leader. The House is run with the cooperation of everyone. The House is running right now. You please allow the House to run.”
However, when she refused to relent and her party colleagues started shouting slogans against the government, Ansari adjourned the House till noon. The chairman also expunged some of the remarks made by the BSP leader.
As the din continued when the House reassembled twice, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned it for the day.
Under rules and conventions, members are not allowed to cast aspersions on the Chair. The chairman normally presides over the Question Hour while Zero Hour and subsequent proceedings are generally conducted by the deputy chairman.
Though the bill was part of the day’s list of business, the government had been unable to table it amid the ruckus in the House. The Samajwadi Party is opposed to the bill.
Defending her remarks, Mayawati, speaking to reporters outside Parliament, accused the government of not being serious about passage of the bill. She said the government and “the BJP and company” had assured her that the bill on reservation in promotions would be taken up after the House debated foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.
She also warned of taking a tough stand unless the UPA government take steps to pass the bill in the current session of Parliament. Reacting to the incident cautiously, Congress spokesperson Renuka Choudhary said: “It is a matter of regret. We should look at our own conduct before pointing out that of others”.
The government is in a fix with the BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota bill while the Samajwadi Party vehemently opposed it. It needs the support of both to ensure passage of crucial bills.