Sparks fly in Parliament

passion by fire: BSP activists set on fire the house of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna in Lucknow late on Wednesday night. ptiWhile the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day at 1200 hours after continued disruption of its proceedings, the Lok Sabha witnessed three adjournments till 1400 hours before Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned it for the day as vociferous BSP members repeatedly stormed the well of the House, shouting anti-Congress slogans.

The SP members also joined the protest in the Lower House over what they described as “anti-woman” comments by the state Congress president. The trouble started during zero hour when Jagdambika Pal (Congress) and some of his party colleagues sought to raise the matter of arrest and arson in Joshi’s house. They were countered by the BSP members.

“Congress party sharm karo (shame on the Congress party), Daliton ka apman band karo, Mahilaon ka apman band karo (stop insulting Dalits and women),” the BSP members shouted in both the Houses. The BSP members were supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP), BJP and the Left.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha where the SP and BSP members condemned Joshi over her “anti-woman” remarks. The Congress members in the House preferred to remain silent.

The agitated BSP and SP members were on their feet in the Upper House seeking suspension of the Question Hour despite Chairman Hamid Ansari’s repeated calls to allow the proceedings to continue.

BSP General Secretary and  Rajya Sabha member Satish Mishra said Joshi’s comment was “anti-Dalit”. CPI member D Raja and BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu also supported Mishra. Naidu said “it is not a matter relating to an ordinary woman”. With the agitated BSP members storming the well of the House, the chairman adjourned the House.
Later the BSP general secretary said Joshi’s house in Lucknow was “conveniently” ransacked and set ablaze by members of her own party to divert attention from her alleged derogatory remarks against the chief minister.

“Making a comment of offering a sum of Rs 1 crore (to Mayawati) is an absolutely shameful act. Very conveniently, they (Congress leaders) got the house burnt by their own people. They have diverted the issue. It is a grave issue and should be dealt with seriously,” Mishra said.

“By burning the house, they can tell the country that whatsoever she (Joshi) said is right. The Lucknow incident is the Congress’ own creation, otherwise the whole country might be burning by now,” he added.

Misra said the action was not only condemnable but shocking. “They will have to repent for this. They will never be able to be successful in their intentions by burning their houses. Mayawati has kept the BSP under discipline the whole night. The entire fire incident is staged. We have raised the issue in the Lok Sabha,” said Mishra.

Sources in the BSP said Parliament proceedings could be affected again on Friday with the BSP members not allowing proceeding on the issue.

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