Quota bill: Mayawati targets RS Chairman, warns govt

HAmid Ansari

Trying to extract her price in return for support on FDI, Mayawati today stepped up pressure for passage of the quota bill for SCs and STs when she unleashed a fusillade on Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and the government, threatening to be more "tough".

She first stunned Rajya Sabha when she criticised Ansari, who is also the country's Vice President, questioning his "absence" after Question Hour and not not being present in the post-noon proceedings to bring order to House.

Upset over the fact that lack of order prevented passage of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill that provides for reservation for SCs/STs in government job promotions, she rushed to the House during the Question Hour and attacked the Chairman without notice.

"We have seen in the last few days that every day the House is not allowed to function after 12 PM. You are Chairman of the House. It is your responsibility to ensure that it functions," she said addressing Ansari.

A visibly stunned Chairman tried to pacify her but she was unrelenting as she said, "I am not ready to listen to anything...Who will ensure that the House functions?"

She insisted that the House should run in order. "You are not seen here after 12 PM... What kind of House is this?"

Government is in a bind with BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota bill and the Samajwadi Party vehemently opposing it.

The BSP supremo's outburst came on a day when both Houses were again unable to conduct any significant business due to disruptions.

Rajya Sabha could not function because of uproar over the quota Bill providing for reservation to SCs/STs in government job promotions while Lok Sabha was paralysed by BSP members by demanding details about coal block allocations which have been shrouded by allegations of irregularities.

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