Quota bill in Rajya Sabha, SP, BSP lock horns (Second Lead)

September 5th, 2012 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Amid repeated disruptions and vociferous protests, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day Wednesday, but not before the government introduced the controversial promotion quota bill.

As the bill for providing reservation to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in promotion in government jobs was introduced amidst din, an ugly scuffle broke out between Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members.

The upper house, which was adjourned soon after the session started at 11 a.m., met again at 12 noon when Minister for Personnel V. Narayanasamy tried to introduce the bill amid din over irregularities in coal block allocations.

SP members protested against the draft legislation brought on the insistence of political rival BSP. The scene turned ugly when SP member Naresh Agarwal and BSP member Avtar Singh Karimpuri came to blows within the house.

The scuffle broke out when Agarwal, while trying to approach the chairman’s podium, was countered by Karimpuri.

The BSP member held Agarwal by the collar and tried to stop him. In a scuffle that lasted less than 15 seconds, the two were seen pushing each other.

Talking to reporters later, Agarwal blamed Karimpuri for the incident.

“He did this on the direction of his party leaders. It is not as per parliamentary traditions. I will submit a written complaint,” Agarwal said.

“In my whole career in parliament, I have never seen anyone being stopped from speaking. This is the dictatorship tradition of BSP. They are trying to bring it to Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Karimpuri, however, refused to comment.

BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also did not comment on the scuffle.

Mayawati, talking to reporters shortly after the introduction of the bill and the scuffle, blamed both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for being anti-dalit and not letting the bill pass.

“Both the BJP, its allies, and the Congress and its allies are responsible for this bill not being passed (till now),” Mayawati said.

“We had raised it in the budget session. The Congress deliberately delayed it because they did not want to upset anyone before the presidential elections,” Mayawati said.

“The BJP’s stand should be condemned. The controversy over coal block allocations is important, but reservation in promotions is equally important. The BJP has its own political motive. They think that raising the coal block allocations issue will propel them to power in the next general elections,” she said.

But SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav termed the bill seeking reservations in job promotions “unconstitutional”.

“This is unconstitutional. The bill was introduced and no one came to know about it. We will go to the people against this. This is a promotion to make a junior a senior and vice-versa. They are making a mockery of the government. They have not spoken to us before introducing the bill,” he said.

SC/ST commission chief P.L. Puniya said called the scuffle a disregard and insult to parliament.

“It shows even that the BSP is not serious about passing the bill.”

Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad called it “compromise with dignity of parliament”.

The proposed bill aims to amend at least four articles of the constitution.

It seeks to remove the term “inadequate representation”, mentioned in Article 16(4) to justify reservation in promotion and appointments, and also de-link the term “efficiency of administration” from the claims of SCs/STs for jobs and promotions, mentioned in Article 335.

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