Remains mum on support to UPA

Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav condemned the incident in the Lok Sabha on the Bill on quota in promotions, but remained mum on withdrawal of his party’s outside support to the United Progressive Alliance government on the issue.

The SP Parliamentary Party will meet early Thursday morning to decide its course of action, even as the government said the Bill would be taken up when the House meets.

“Everybody saw what happened. This is a serious thing,” Mr. Yadav told journalists outside Parliament, referring to the incident in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi tried to retrieve a copy of the Bill from an SP member who had snatched it from Minister of State V. Narayanasamy as he was trying to introduce it.

Without naming anybody, Mr. Yadav said, “The Congress is the ruling party. They can do as they want, but we will continue with our struggle [against the Bill] no matter what. This is a divisive Bill. It has been scrapped by court thrice.”

Accompanied by his party members, including Dalit member Yashveer Singh, who snatched the copy of the Bill, Mr. Yadav charged the Congress with “insulting” his party member. “And now the [Lok Sabha] channel has deleted [blacked out] the clipping. What was done to our party member was insulting.”

To a query whether his party would withdraw support to the UPA, he said, “We will think about it later. Right now we are talking about what happened today.”

Asked if it behoved well for a member to snatch the Bill from the Minister, Mr. Yadav said it was not the first time this had happened. He denied the allegation that the entire incident was planned. “The charges against us are baseless.”

Speaking to journalists, Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar denied he had “beaten up” the SP member. He said he only prevented him from approaching Ms. Gandhi.

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