BSP disrupts both houses of parliament

April 22nd, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) forced adjournments of both houses of parliament Tuesday over its demand for a Rs.800 billion development package for Uttar Pradesh. The disruption began as soon as the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha met for question hour. BSP members were on their feet, raising slogans against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and alleging discrimination against Uttar Pradesh.

In the Rajya Sabha, the BSP members left their allotted seats and were heard shouting “Uttar Pradesh ke saath bhed bhav band karo, bando karo!” (Stop discriminating against Uttar Pradesh).

The chairs in both houses tried to pacify the members but were forced to adjourn proceedings when the protesters were unrelenting.

In the Lok Sabha, proceedings were stalled when the BSP launched a veiled attack on Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for “politicising” issues related to farmers in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The BSP MPs shouted slogans seeking a special economic package for the farmers in the region. Unable to restore order, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the house till 12 p.m.

The BSP demanded a discussion about the plight of farmers of Bundelkhand, where Gandhi Friday forced Uttar Pradesh officials to hear the farmers’ complaints vis-a-vis the rural job guarantee scheme, a flagship programme of the Manmohan Singh government.

Soon after assuming power in May 2007, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP president Mayawati, whose party supports the UPA government from outside, had met the prime minister with the demand for a Rs.800 billion package.

The BSP MPs’ move to stall parliament proceedings is being seen as an indicator of the sharpening differences between the Congress and the BSP.

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