The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party on Friday fought a throaty duel on the issue of reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in job promotions, disrupting the entire day’s proceedings in the Rajya Sabha and leaving other Opposition parties high and dry for the second successive day.
As soon as the House commenced, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati rose to demand immediate legislation formalising reservation, bringing all her BSP MPs into the well.
Unacceptable, says SP
Even as they raised slogans, members of the rival Samajwadi Party too rushed in there, shouting that reservation in promotions was unacceptable.
This wrangling resulted in three adjournments, leaving the other Opposition parties mere spectators. The BJP’s M. Venkaiah Naidu sought to demand a discussion on FDI in multibrand retail but felt constrained, thanks to the din. Standing on their benches, members of the AIADMK and the Left silently put up with the one-upmanship between the U.P. rivals.
With neither of the two parties relenting, Chairman Hamid Ansari called for the first adjournment and when the House resumed, there was no respite from the showdown.
The presiding officer went through the motions of getting the report of the Select Committee on the Lokpal Bill tabled, besides those of the Agriculture, Health and Home departments, before the House adjourned for lunch. Post-lunch, it was a continuum of the earlier two sessions, forcing the Chair to call it a day.
FDI continues to rock Lok Sabha
Opposition protests against FDI in multibrand retail marred proceedings in the Lok Sabha for the second consecutive day on Friday.
Members of the Trinamool Congress, who unsuccessfully tried to table a no-confidence motion on the issue on Thursday, rushed to the well, raising slogans against the UPA-II regime. Members of the Left, the AIADMK, the BJD and the BJP too protested.
The government has convened an all-party meeting for Monday to break the deadlock. The Opposition parties have been demanding a discussion, followed by voting on the FDI issue.
The House, which met at 11 a.m., was adjourned till noon. Later it was adjourned till Monday after tabling of papers by some members.
Earlier, soon after the House met, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced the Ministers — who had either been inducted or promoted in the recent reshuffle — to the House, amid thumping of desks.