Rajya Sabha disrupted over Kumari Selja's claim of caste bias
New Delhi, Dec 2: The government and the opposition locked horns in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when the treasury benches contradicted Congress member Kumari Selja's claim that she faced caste discrimination at a temple in Gujarat, citing what she wrote in the visitor's book there.
The upper house, on the first day of the session when it was to transact business, faced three adjournments in the pre-lunch session.
On Wednesday morning, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley referred to a comment by Congress member Kumari Selja during the debate on the constitution that she was enquired about her caste at a temple in Gujarat.
Jaitley said contrary to Selja's claim, her comments in the visitor's book of the temple were full of praises.
To this Selja said that she had made it clear in her remarks that it was not in the main temple that she was asked about her caste.
"I made it very clear it was not the main Dwarka temple. The Leader of the House should not make rude gestures like this. In Dwarka temple, the priests were very good," she said.
Selja was supported by other Congress members, while treasury benches slammed her for making false remarks. "It is a manufactured discrimination," union minister Piyush Goyal said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused Selja of misleading the house.
"You have misled the house. If this is your handwriting, you should apologise," he said.
The protesting Congress members, on the other hand, trooped near the chairman's podium, forcing Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house briefly.
With disruptions continuing, the Rajya Sabha was again adjourned till 12 noon, and then till 2 p m.
During the discussion on the constitution and the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar on Monday, Selja, in an emotional account, said she was stopped from entering one of the temples in Dwarka in Gujarat.