Chaos in Rajya Sabha over quota bill, SP MP asked to leave
Chaos returned to the Rajya Sabha Thursday soon after members expressed faith in Chairman Hamid Ansari and the house's dignity, with Samajwadi Party (SP) creating a ruckus over the quota in promotion bill and angry Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asking its members to leave.
The house saw three brief adjournments, and just fell short of calling marshals to evict the SP members who were on their feet and raising slogans against the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, (Reservation in promotion to SCs and STs with retrospective effect).
The bill was finally taken up for debate after being repeatedly listed for days through the session.
The chaos started as the upper house of parliament took up the constitutional amendment bill post lunch.
SP members once again trooped near the chairman's podium, raising slogans and saying they did not want reservations in government job promotions.
The chair then ordered SP member Arvind Kumar Singh to leave the house, causing an uproar among other members from the party. The house was then adjourned for 10 minutes.
But unruly scenes continued and angry Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien told SP leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal to evict Arvind Kumar Singh from the house. "Please withdraw him," Kurien said.
Kurien said he was applying Rule 255, under which marshals would be called if the member did not leave the house.
A member from the upper house, however, told IANS that the opposition was totally against calling marshals.
Yadav called it unfair and asked the chair to take a sense of the house under Rule 256. The house was again adjourned for 10 minutes, after which Kurien named another SP member, Munawwar Saleem, to be sent out.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath then urged the chair to name all members one by one so that all were sent out of the house.
"I urge you to name another member, so that they are all out," Kamal Nath said.
After another adjournment of 15 minutes, as the deputy chairman continued to name the members for disturbances, SP leaders decided to walk out of the house.
"Majority of people are against it but people here are bound by whip. As parliamentary affairs minister named SP members one by one, it is an issue of concern... The way in which it all has been done, I, with my party members, boycott the house," Yadav said before leaving the house.
Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Yadav compared the incident to a scene in the "Mahabharata" where Draupadi was disrobed in a royal court.
"Just like a scene in the 'Mahabharata', all members were quietly witnessing injustice. The government evicted our members under rules in which they could have called marshals," Yadav said.
"The way parliamentary affairs minister asked the chair to name all SP members, it is unfortunate," he said.
Talking about the quota in promotions bill, Yadav said it was unconstitutional and would be struck down by the Supreme Court.
SP member Munawwar Saleem, who was one of the two leaders named for eviction, said: "This bill will never bring social justice but increase social friction. It is BSP's (Bahujan Samaj Party) bill and the Congress is helping them to get it passed."
The debate on the bill was started in the house, and the proposed legislation will be voted upon Monday.