Congress and Samajwadi Party MPs almost came to blows in the Lok Sabha minutes after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi made an attempt to prevent SP’s Yashvir Singh from tearing a copy of the bill on promotion quota for SC/STs.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath described the incident as the “lowest day in the history of Indian Parliament”.
Although SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav refused to say if this would lead to withdrawal of support to the UPA, observers said it was unlikely to change the tie-up.
On Wednesday, SP members were protesting since morning against the introduction of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill approved in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. When V Narayanasamy, minister of state for personnel, stood up to introduce the bill at 3pm, SP MPs were already protesting in the well. The minister continued to speak but in minutes, Singh came from behind and snatched the copy of the bill.
As he rushed towards the well holding the bill above his head, Gandhi, sitting in the front row, stepped out to snatch the bill. Soon, she was surrounded in the well, but the Congress MPs rushed to rescue her and confronted Singh.
The government said it would introduce the bill on Thursday, the last day of the winter session.