Yashvir Singh flings paper to party colleague even as Sonia rushes to get it back

High drama unfolded in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday when a Samajwadi Party member snatched a copy of the quota in promotion Bill from Minister of State V. Narayanasamy when he rose to move it. Amid jostling and pushing, Congress president Sonia Gandhi tried to get the copy back from Yashvir Singh, but he flung it to his party members and then it was torn to pieces.

Yashvir Singh, representing Nagina in Uttar Pradesh, shocked the House, snatching the Bill from Mr. Narayanasamy. Then he flung it towards his party colleague Neeraj Kumar, even as Ms. Gandhi, seated in the first row, rushed towards Mr. Singh.

This caused a huge commotion. As Congress members K. Bapiraju and Vilas Muttemwar walked towards Ms. Gandhi, a scuffle-like situation prevailed, with the SP members already in the well protesting against the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill. Congress members surrounded Ms. Gandhi.

A stunned Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House for the day. Tempers ran high even after the adjournment, with members of the two parties blaming each other for the situation.

The SP has been isolated in its opposition to the Bill, which seeks to create a quota for the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in promotion in government jobs.

Terming the incident “very deplorable and extremely unfortunate,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters later: “We will urge the Speaker to condemn it and take action against the member.” “The Bill will be taken up tomorrow [on Thursday]…” Such an act “frustrates parliamentary democracy.”

Mr. Nath said that since Ms. Gandhi was closest to the spot where the incident occurred, she asked the SP member to return the Bill. “In a democracy, if you are against something, you vote against it. But you can’t do this. I condemn it. If they show such an attitude, there is no need for democracy or Parliament or the media.”

The Lok Sabha was repeatedly adjourned before the Bill was taken up, as the SP members stormed into the well. As the House reassembled at noon after an adjournment and soon after question hour began, they trooped into the well, raising slogans.

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