BJP, SP protests force parliament adjournment till Friday
Protests inside both houses of parliament by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over coal block allocations and by the Samajwadi Party (SP) over the reservation quota bill disrupted proceedings for the 12th successive day Thursday, causing parliament to be adjourned till Friday.
While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day shortly after noon, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned a little after 2 p.m. after an unsuccessful attempt by the government to take up the reservation quota bill.
Earlier, both houses observed a minute's silence in remembrance of those killed in a blaze in a firecracker unit in Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi town that killed 38 people.
The trouble began soon after that.
In the Rajya Sabha, BJP members picked up their chant demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over coal block allocations, while SP members protested over the reservation quota bill. The Rajya Sabha was first adjourned till noon and then till 2 p.m.
At 2 p.m., as the upper house met, Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy tried to take up the quota bill, which was introduced Wednesday.
BJP members stood in their seats, shouting slogans about the alleged coal scam. SP members, meanwhile, trooped near the Chairman's podium shouting slogans like "Promotion mein arakshan nahi chalega" (reservation in promotion will not be accepted).
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien's repeated pleas to maintain order fell on deaf ears.
"Please maintain order in the house, this is a constitutional amendment bill," the chair said.
As the din continued, Kurien adjourned the house for the day.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha, which was adjourned for the day at noon.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met leaders of the opposition in an effort to break the logjam.
"I have met the leaders of opposition, asking them to let the house run so that important bills can be passed," Shinde told reporters.
The BJP, however, rejected the government's appeal, reiterating that the prime minister had to resign first.
"We have said that the prime minister should resign first and then we will discuss other things," said BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.