Reservation has always been a polarising issue for the political class and it was on display again Wednesday. Two Rajya Sabha members almost came to blows when the bill to amend the Constitution for providing quota to SCs/STs in promotions was introduced in the House.
Avtar Singh Karimpuri of the BSP allegedly grabbed the collar of Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agrawal and they ended up pushing each other, reviving memories of unruly behaviour in Parliament every time the women’s quota bill was introduced.
The turbulence forced the government to indicate the bill was unlikely to move further. “There is no time left,” home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said.
But later, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government would try to get the bill passed on Friday. The Congress had issued a whip to its members, to be in the House and vote for the bill, he said.
In the morning, chaos prevailed as SP MPs, who opposed tabling of the bill, moved close to the deputy chairperson’s chair and tried to snatch a copy of the bill from MoS for personnel V Narayanasamy. The BJP MPs, too, were busy shouting slogans against Coalgate. Soon after, the House was adjourned.
BSP chief Mayawati lashed out at the UPA and NDA: “Both did not back the bill for vested political interest...” Her rival, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, said the bill was unconstitutional and “we’ll oppose it with all our might”.