High drama was witnessed in the
Lok Sabha today as scuffle broke out between members when the
controversial quota bill was moved for consideration, with an
SP member snatching it from Minister V Narayanasamy and UPA
Chairperson Sonia Gandhi trying to retrieve it.
Hell broke loose as Narayanasamy rose to move the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill for consideration of the House.
Yashvir Singh, a member of the SP, which extends outside support to the government, came from aisle on the extreme left side of the House and took away the Bill from Narayanasamy.
As a dazed minister watched in shock, Gandhi got up from her front row seat to grab the bill from Singh.
"I was taken aback," Narayanasamy said later.
Singh represents Uttar Pradesh's Nagina constituency, which is reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Incidentally, the Bill seeks to provide reservation to SCs/STs in promotion in government jobs.
Gandhi's swift move caught Singh unawares and he leaned back and flung the Bill to his colleague Neeraj Shekhar, who was in the Well. Shekhar tore the copy of the Bill and threw it in the Well.
The raised hand gesture of Singh angered Congress members and Vilas Muttemwar, K Bapi Raju and Kantilal Bhuria among others moved towards Gandhi and threw a protective ring around her.
In the melee, there was some pushing around of SP members by the agitated Congress leaders leading to a minor scuffle.
Amid the din, Speaker Meira Kumar abruptly adjourned the House for the day.
SP members were heard accusing Muttemwar of assaulting Singh as a Congress leader took the Nagpur member away from the scene.
Later, Muttemwar was seen giving his version of the incident to BJP members.
Singh had, meanwhile, passed on the bill to his party colleague Neeraj Shekhar which fell down.
Although the Speaker left the House, the commotion persisted.
In order to calm the tempers in the surcharged House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath walked up to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav who was surrounded by his party colleagues including Singh.
Congress members also sought to reach out to the BJP in the wake of incident but not to much success.
Samajwadi Party has been isolated on its opposition to the Bill which will ensure quota in promotion in government jobs for SC/ST employees.
BSP supremo Mayawati, an arch detractor of Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh politics, has been seeking to take credit for the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, the Women's Reservation Bill had met a similar fate when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1998.
Firt-time member Surendra Prasad Yadav (RJD) had prevented introduction of the Bill in the Lok Sabha by snatching it from the then Speaker G M C Balyogi and had torn it to bits.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed similar scenes last year when Rajniti Prasad (RJD) prevented the introduction of the Lokpal Bill by snatching it from Narayanasamy.