RS clears quota Bill, only SP against

Mulayam

Another SP MP, Naresh Agrawal, demanded that the Bill be referred to the parliamentary standing committee to avoid a possible widespread uproar. "I would urge the government to refer the Bill to the standing committee...What's the problem if it is sent to the committee?" Agrawal asked.

He, however, asserted that the SP was not against reservation, saying, "If 82 per cent of the people are not accepting the Bill, it (the passage of the Bill) will create division... It will have a very serious fallout in the future."

Last week, all SP MPs in Rajya Sabha had staged a walkout after disrupting proceedings that forced the Chair to suspend two party MPs for unruly behaviour. The Lok Sabha too witnessed protests by the SP MPs, who didn't allow the House to function.

When the Lok Sabha proceedings began today, the 22-member SP group led by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav started protesting against the Bill and also seeking reservations for Muslims, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for half-an-hour, followed by three more short ajournments. Finally, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day without transacting any significant business, as it witnessed repeated disruptions by SP members. Mulayam has already threatened to review support to the UPA government.

Some Congress MPs, including a minister from Andhra Pradesh, also staged a protest in the House on the issue. Talking to mediapersons outside Parliament, Mulayam again threatened to review support to UPA on the issue, saying the government should work towards providing reservations for Muslims.

"We will think about continuing support," he said. Referring to the Sachar committee report, he said the condition of the Muslim community was worse than SCs and STs. "Muslims' condition is very bad. Therefore, reservations should be provided to them and there is no alternative to this," he said.

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