M A I N   N E W S

SP member snatches quota Bill from minister, Sonia rushes after him
Tribune News Service

High Drama in Lok Sabha

Around 3 pm: House reassembles after three adjournments over the SP’s opposition to the quota Bill
MoS V Narayanasamy begins presenting the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill in the LS
Yashvir Singh of the Samajwadi Party snatches the Bill from him
Sonia runs after Singh to get the Bill back, but that wasn’t to be
He flings the copy to his colleague Neeraj Shekhar who tears it to pieces
Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav watches silently from his seat

New Delhi, December 19
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today shocked everyone in the Lok Sabha when she rushed after a Samajwadi Party member to retrieve from him the SC/ST promotion quota Bill that he had snatched from MoS V. Narayanasamy.

The SP member’s action and Sonia’s reaction transformed within seconds into a scuffle of sorts between MPs from both sides. The Bill itself saw the fate the Women’s Quota Law had seen in 1998 when it was snatched from the minister and torn to pieces by an RJD member.

Today, the event unfolded around 3 pm when the House had reassembled after three adjournments over the SP’s opposition to the quota Bill, which the Government had brought to the LS for consideration and passing. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill.

Just when Narayanasamy began presenting the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill to the LS, Yashvir Singh, an SP MP from Nagina reserved segment, went from the well on to the minister’s side and snatched the Bill from him. Sonia reciprocated immediately by running after Singh to get the bill back, but that wasn’t to be.

Singh flung the copy to his colleague Neeraj Shekhar on the opposite side of the well and the latter reduced it to pieces, while party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav watched silently from his seat.

Soon, agitated Congress MPs -- Vilas Muttemwar, K Bapi Raju and Kantilal Bhuria among others -- rushed to the well to surround Sonia Gandhi, still standing there. The situation transformed into a minor scuffle between members of the two sides, leading to an abrupt adjournment of the House for the day by a stunned Speaker as parliamentary etiquette hit an all time low.

The SP had been disrupting proceedings of the House since morning over the presentation of the Bill, which does not suit the OBCs -- the SP vote bank. Narayanasamy, for his part, said he was astonished by the SP member’s action while a perturbed Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath described the events as “deplorable and extremely unfortunate”. He called upon the Speaker to take action against the SP member. The Bill, he said, would be taken up tomorrow when the House meets. “But such acts frustrate parliamentary democracy,” Nath added, as the quota Bill went the Women’s Reservation Bill in LS.

The women’s quota Bill was also torn apart in 1998 when it was introduced in the LS. At that time, the (dis)honour was done by Surendra Prasad Yadav, a member of the RJD.

Last December, too, when the Government was trying to introduce the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, RJD’s Rajniti Prasad had blocked its introduction.





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