Ruckus in House over quota move
Ruckus ruled the Rajya Sabha for an hour on Thursday after the Samajwadi Party members’ protest against a bill to amend the Constitution to facilitate reservation in promotion for SCs and STs in government jobs resulted in repeated adjournments, removal of a member and finally a walk-out by SP members.
As soon as the House reassembled in the post-lunch session, seven of the nine members of the SP, which has been opposing the legislation, trooped to the well protesting against the bill.
The vociferous slogan shouting by SP’s Arvind Kumar Singh, Naresh Agarwal, Ram Gopal Yadav, Alok Tiwari, Kiranmay Nanda, Darshan Singh Yadav and Choudhury Munwar Salim irked Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien who refused to adjourn the House and asked them to return to their seats.
Kurien’s tough stand came a day after Rajya Sabha Chairperson Hamid Ansari came under attack from Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati for adjourning the House bowing to SP’s “pressure tactics”.
The BSP is in support of the bill and it is widely believed that the party supported the government in the FDI issue to ensure the passing of the quota bill. As the din continued, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath suggested to the Chair that action could be taken against SP members. He said the commotion was unfortunate as the Upper House agreed on orderly functioning merely two hours ago.Kurien told SP leaders that he would not accept “this kind of blackmail” and cautioned them repeatedly. With all his pleadings falling on deaf ears, he invoked Rule 255 and ordered ouster of Arvind Kumar Singh who was at the forefront of the protesters.
But Singh refused to leave and the ruckus continued. The House was first adjourned for 10 minutes and as the din continued, it was adjourned again for 10 minutes. The Deputy Chairman ordered stopping of the live telecast. When the House met, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal said the Chair should consider invoking Rule 256 (instead of Rule 255) and take a sense of the House on the ouster of Singh.