Chaos marks last day of winter session; protest by SP, BJP holds up bill

Repeated adjournments and disruptions on Thursday marred the proceedings in the Lok Sabha, which was adjourned sine die later in the day, with the bill to provide reservation for the SCs and STs in government job promotions, getting blocked by BJP and Samajwadi Party members.

The bill, supported vigorously by Mayawati’s BSP, got through the Rajya Sabha on Monday amid protests and walk-out by the SP.

Minutes before the month-long winter session ended, Speaker Meira Kumar regretted that her efforts to get the bill through did not succeed.

On Wednesday, the House witnessed high drama and scuffles as a SP member snatched a copy of the bill from Minister of State V. Narayansamy, even as Congress president Sonia Gandhi, amid jostling, tried in vain to retrieve it.

On the last day, the House was adjourned repeatedly, what with the pandemonium created by the SP and the BJP. As soon as Mr. Narayansamy moved the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, SP members rushed to the well, raising slogans.

As the din continued, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani was on his feet, seeking to speak on the subject, but a Congress member was speaking simultaneously. Irked at their leader not being allowed to speak, BJP members said it was an insult to the main Opposition party.

In the afternoon, when the House reassembled, BJP members trooped into the well, arguing that any insult to the Opposition would not be tolerated. Congress members, too, indulged in slogan-shouting. The pandemonium forced yet another adjournment.

When the House finally met at 5.30 p.m., the Speaker read out her valedictory remarks. She said the session had 20 sittings when seven bills were passed and seven others introduced. The House also held a discussion on foreign direct investment. Interruptions, followed by forced adjournments, cost the House 59 hours.

In the Rajya Sabha, which was also adjourned sine die, question hour could be conducted only on eight days, owing to continued disruptions.

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