An ugly situation developed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, bringing back memories of the violent clash in UP Assembly years ago, as angry members of RJD and JD(U) almost came to blows and freely hurled abuse at each other.
At the height of this drama, Railway Minister Lalu Yadav's brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav rushed towards JD(U) leader Prabhunath Singh, fist clenched. The latter responded by pushing him back, his posture equally menacing.
The incident was sparked off by an objectionable reference made by Singh about RJD chief Lalu Yadav while talking of a Dalit woman's rape in Bihar.
Speaker Somnath Chatterjee later condemned the members' unruly conduct and issued a stern warning that he would take strong action against them if such a thing was repeated.
While a subdued Lalu Yadav apologised to the Speaker for the behaviour of his party members, Singh, who is known for his provocative remarks against the RJD and Congress leaders, responded by submitting his resignation to Chatterjee. The Speaker, however, did not accept his resignation and, as Singh walked out of the House, told members that he would come back.
It all started after the Speaker adjourned the House as RJD members rushed towards the well of the House taking a cue from Yadav's furious retort to Singh's remark. As some of the members began to leave, RJD members like Sadhu Yadav, Ramkirpal Yadav and Raghunath Jha could be seen arguing heatedly with JD(U) and BJP MPs.
Suddenly, Sadhu Yadav rushed towards Singh as the latter's colleagues tried to stop him. Recovering quickly from his surprise, Singh brandished his fist and pushed back Sadhu Yadav. As BJP member Kharabella Swain tried to intervene, Rajendra Rana of the RJD grabbed a sound box from the parliamentary reporters' table and threw it towards him.
The missile, however, fell short of its target. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi went about trying to pacify the agitated RJD members. Finally, marshals had to be summoned to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. An all-party meeting was convened at the Speaker’s office to resolve the issue and the House had to be adjourned again for an hour as the meeting remained inconclusive.
When the House met again, Chatterjee described it as a “very, very condemnable incident”. “The incident ... should not have happened. It is extremely wrong. It has brought a bad name to our great institution. I condemn it from the Chair. I request all the honourable members to cooperate,” he said.