Session ends, quota Bill fails to clear LS

FP

The winter session of Parliament came to an end on Thursday with the last day's proceedings leaving the BJP upset with Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar over the denial of an opportunity to its parliamentary party chairman L K Advani to speak on the quota Bill. Consequently, senior party leaders stayed away from the customary session-end tea hosted by the Speaker.

Sources disclosed that Advani wanted to pitch in for a reference of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill to the Supreme Court before its enactment. More so, when there was a precedent to this effect, the sources said.

Advani was on his feet, trying to attract the attention of the Speaker, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for being heard immediately after the Bill was taken up for consideration following a speech by Minister for Personnel and Grievances V Narayanasamy.

The Speaker had already asked Congress member P L Punia to speak amid the din created by the Samajwadi Party.

Several BJP members, including former party president Rajnath Singh, deputy leader Gopinath Munde and former minister Ananth Kumar repeatedly pleaded with the Speaker to let him speak, but in vain. The situation got worse when Congress members came into the aisle shouting slogans in support of the Bill, leading to an adjournment.

Advani was visibly angry and could be seen conveying this to Kamal Nath and Science and Technology Minister Jaipal Reddy. When the House assembled after two short adjournments, BJP members trooped into the well shouting "Pratipaksh ka aisa apmaan, nahi chalega (insult of the Opposition will not be tolerated)."

The Advani issue provided the BJP with an excuse to block the quota Bill. Though the party had extended its support to the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha was sharply divided over it.

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