BJP, SP block quota bill in LS

Meira Kumar

BJP and Samajwadi Party today blocked in the Lok Sabha a bill to provide reservation for Scs and STs in government job promotions, delaying the measure which was seen as quid pro quo for BSP's support to UPA on FDI in retail.

Just before the House was adjourned sine die after a month-long Winter session, Speaker Meira Kumar regretted that her efforts to get the proposed legislation passed could not succeed.

The House was adjourned repeatedly on the last day of the session because of pandemonium created by SP and BJP and then sine die at 5.30 PM.

High drama was witnessed in the House when the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012 was moved for consideration by Personnel Minister V Narayanasamy, four days after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Soon after the bill was moved for consideration at around noon and P L Punia of Congress started speaking, SP members rushed into the Well, shouting slogans against the proposed legislation.

In the midst of the din, senior BJP leader L K Advani was on his feet seeking to speak on the subject, but was not allowed as Punia kept on speaking. This angered BJP members who termed it as an insult to the main opposition.

Advani himself was visibly very upset and was seen conveying his angst to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Science and Technology Minister Jaipal Reddy when they came to talk to him.

After two brief adjournments, when the House reassembled at 1.15 PM, BJP members also rushed into the Well raising slogans 'pratipaksh ka aisa apmaan, nahi chalega (insult of the opposition will not be tolerated)'.

Amid pandemonium, Congress members came into the aisle shouting slogans in support of the bill.

Incidentally, Narayanasamy did not read from a copy of the bill today and spoke extempore. The bill was snatched from him by SP member Yashvir Singh yesterday when he was introducing it.

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