New Delhi, Dec 19: Shortly after the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill providing for reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was tabled in the Lok Sabha today, a Samajwadi Party (SP) member Yashvir Singh snatched a copy of the bill from Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi made an attempt to retrieve the copy but Singh evaded her. At more or less the same time, his party colleagues rushed into the Well of the House and created mayhem. Speaker Meira Kumar then adjourned the proceedings till tomorrow.
The first disruption of the day was caused during Question Hour. MPs belonging to the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party protested strongly against the quota bill. As they began shouting "promotion mein aarakshan, nahi chalega, nahi chalega", the treasury benches responded with the slogan "Dalit Virodhiyon ko bahar karo".
Simultaneously, Shiv Sena MPs and their counterparts from the Telugu Desam Party demanded that the cotton price be raised to Rs 6,000 per quintal. They also urged the Centre to take effective steps since several cotton-growers had committed suicide in the past few months.
The din forced the Speaker to adjourn the House till noon. The Lok Sabha witnessed more uproar after 12 pm. While Samajwadi Party members again raised the quota bill issue, MPs from the NDA cited the gangrape of a 23-year-old medical student in the national capital on Dec 16 and called for measures to protect women.
Concurring with the members of the BJP, Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, the Speaker said that crimes against women are on the rise. She described it as "a serious issue" and requested the members to give a notice for discussion. However, the continuing commotion led to another adjournment.
When the House reassembled, the final act in what can best be dubbed as a drama by the SP was played out. Soon after Yashvir Singh had snatched the bill from Narayanasamy, he handed it over to another SP member Neeraj Shekhar as Congress MPs had surrounded him and were pushing him. Shekhar tore the bill.
Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told newspersons that he has never seen MPs disrupting the proceedings of the Lower House in such a "deplorable" manner. About the bill, he said, "Every party is entitled to discuss, criticise, oppose it and vote against it. Instead, 10-15 MPs don't let it happen in that way."
On the other hand, Mulayam Singh Yadav slammed Congress members of attacking his party's MPs. Incidentally, the quota bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Dec 17.