Sonia fights back after SP snatches Bill

Sonia Gandhi

IN scenes considered unprecedented in the Lok Sabha, UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday led party members in a scuffle with their Samajwadi Party counterparts after a SP MP snatched the copy of the SC/ST quota in promotions bill from minister V Narayanasamy as he introduced it.

As soon as Narayanasamy stood to introduce the Constitution Amendment Bill for consideration and passing at 3 pm, SP MP from Nagina, Yashvir Singh, walked up to the minister and snatched the copy in his hand before joining party colleagues protesting in the well of the House.

Even before other Congress MPs could react, Sonia left her seat and walked into the well to try and snatch the bill back from Singh. But Singh passed it on to party colleague Neeraj Shekhar (Ballia) who promptly tore it. An agitated Sonia stood in the well before Congress members Vilas Muttemvar and K Bapi Raju rushed aggressively to pounce on Singh.

However, Shekhar and another SP member, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, formed a human shield to avoid more trouble despite aggressive gestures from Congress members who had rushed to the well. Sonia, meanwhile, was seen suggesting to Narayanasamy to continue with his speech from another copy of the Bill.

Taken aback by the turn of events, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House for the day, leaving SP and Congress members trading charges over what had happened. Sonia briefly watched them before going to Kumar's chamber. Earlier, SP members had disrupted question hour and forced adjournments in the morning, at noon as well as at 2 pm.

BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey, Yogi Adityanath and Hukumdev Narayan Yadav were later seen blaming Congress members for allegedly manhandling SP members. Members from across political parties, including Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath, met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav soon after to calm down tempers.

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