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Muslims headcount rocks Rajya Sabha

An SP member was offended by his being described as "muslim league", holding up proceedings for half an hour.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 17:29 IST

A heated debate on the headcount of Muslims in the armed forces took an unsavoury turn in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

A Samajwadi Party member took offence to his being described as "Muslim League" forcing the House to be adjourned for half an hour.

As BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was arguing her case for withdrawal of the survey, SP member Shahid Siddiqui accused Swaraj of "being an RSS" to which SBP member Sharad Joshi retorted, "you are a Muslim League".

This sparked off vehement protests by Siddiqui, who rushed into the well gesticulating as if he would tear off own shirt and turned back menacingly towards Joshi with several members intervening to pacify the situation.

Siddiqui was heard shouting that his father had scarified in the freedom struggle and he himself has contributed his mite for unity and integrity of the country.

Several members, including SS Ahluwalia and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) and Farooq Abdullah (NC), intervened to pacify Siddiqui to prevent the situation from going out of hand.

As an agitated Siddiqui was unrelenting and rushed menacingly towards an unruffled Joshi, who appeared to be calm, Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 15:17 IST