SC/ST promotion quota row: Samajwadi Party for reservation to Muslims
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An unrelenting Samajwadi Party today triggered protests in the Lok Sabha on the bill providing for quota in promotions and created uproar in the Rajya Sabha demanding reservation for Muslims.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day without transacting any significant business, as it witnessed repeated disruptions by SP members. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has threatened to review support to the UPA coalition, led the protest in the Lok Sabha as party members stormed the Well repeatedly to oppose the move.
Yadav's party, which has 22 members in the Lok Sabha and is a key outside supporter of the UPA, made a strong pitch in the Rajya Sabha for reservation in jobs for Muslims contending that the Sachar Committee report showed their plight was worse than that of Dalits. The SP protest showed that Uttar Pradesh politics cast its shadow on Parliament as the Bill for providing quota for reservation in promotions in state jobs was brought forward following pressure from arch-detractor BSP.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath tried to calm nerves by talking to Yadav between the adjournments. At one point, the discussion between Yadav and Nath turned into an impromptu all-party meeting with members of several parties joining in.
"The Rajya Sabha is debating this matter. If and when this Bill will be passed by the Rajya Sabha (it will come to this House)," Nath said.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after four adjournments which also saw several Congress members staging counter protests and demanding bringing the Bill for quota in promotion for SC/ST in government jobs.
In the Rajya Sabha, debate resumed on the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill.
Soon after the House met, SP members, led by Shailendra Kumar, trooped into the Well saying a large number of government employees were on strike following anxiety over the bill providing for quotas to SC/ST in promotions in government jobs.