Members belonging to the ruling UPA and the opposition NDA on Thursday clashed in the Lok Sabha over the issue of reservation for SCs and STs in the private sector with both sides blaming each other for inaction in the matter.
Trouble began when Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar said during Question Hour that the previous NDA government had refused to act on recommendations of the National Commission for SC and ST that reservation be provided to these sections in the private sector.
The Commission's report was placed in Parliament in May 2002 but the then government refused to implement it, she said provoking BJP members who strongly protested.
Kumar, who was replying to a question posed by BJP member Shahnawaz Hussain, said the opposition party had developed concern for SCs and STs now, although they did nothing for them when in power.
Supported by other BJP members, Hussain attacked the UPA government saying it had only "befooled" people through "false promises" ever since it came to power.
Members from both sides were up on their feet, making comments against the other side but nothing could be heard in the din.
Kumar, in her reply to the question, said the UPA government was committed to ensuring reservation for SCs and STs in the private sector.
The government was holding a dialogue with the industry, she said adding associations like CII, ASSOCHAM, PHDCCI and FICCI have evolved a Code of Conduct of Affirmative Action.