Samajwadi Party (SP) members thrice forced adjournment of proceedings in the Lok Sabha today by repeatedly shouting slogans against the bill on reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs.
At the beginning of Question Hour, the party's MPs claimed that government employees are upset over the bill as it only provides quota in promotions to SC/STs. Even as SP members moved towards the Well of the House protesting against the bill, BJP's Yogi Adityanath seemed to be supporting them. He averred that government staff were worried that the bill might be passed by Parliament.
Meanwhile, MPs belonging to the AIADMK tried to direct the attention of the House towards another issue but the din meant that their efforts came to naught. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath pointed out to the SP members that "The Rajya Sabha is debating this matter. If and when this Bill will be passed by the Rajya Sabha, it will come to this House."
Speaker Meira Kumar urged the protesting MPs to return to their seats and assured the SP that the House will discuss the quota bill during Zero Hour. However, the uproar continued. The speaker therefore adjourned the proceedings till 11.30 am.
Since the situation did not improve when the House re-assembled, it was adjourned for the second time till noon. With SP members again trooping into the Well post 12 pm, Francisco Sardinha who was chairing the proceedings adjourned the Lok Sabha till 2 pm.
A similar furore was witnessed in the Upper House. SP's Ram Gopal Yadav demanded reservation for Muslims in government jobs. "If a Constitutional (Amendment) is brought to provide reservation to Dalits, why can't similar amendment be introduced to provide reservation to Muslims?" he wanted to know.
Yadav asked the Chairman to "suspend the Question Hour on the issue". Ansari said that he should first allow other members to table their questions as the issue can be subsequently raised during Zero Hour. Instead of heeding the chairman's words, SP members gathered near his podium. Ansari then adjourned the House till 11.30 am.
The crucial voting on the quota bill is to take place in the Rajya Sabha later today. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party had put pressure on the UPA government to introduce the bill in both Houses.