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SP, BSP MPs scuffle over promotion quota bill

Wednesday September 05, 2012 08:18:42 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was marred for the 11th day Wednesday over the 'coalgate' saga, but it was an ugly clash between a BSP and a Samajwadi Party MP that generated the most heat.

As others in the upper house watched in shock, Samajwadi Party's Naresh Agarwal and Avtar Singh Karimpuri of the Bahujan Samaj Party scuffled violently and almost came to blows.

The pushing and shoving -- what they were telling each other was not audible -- lasted barely a minute but not before other MPs brought it to the attention of senior ministers.

Contributing to the Rajya Sabha's adjournment Wednesday was the divisive bill meant to guarantee promotions in government jobs to Dalits and tribals.

As the bill was introduced amid din, the Samajwadi members were on their legs shouting slogans against the bill.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh hit out at the bill, saying it was "unconstitutional".

"The bill was introduced and no one came to know about it. This is a promotion to make a junior a senior and vice-versa. They are making a mockery of the government," he told reporters.

The house, adjourned soon after it met at 11 a.m., was convened again at noon when Minister for Personnel V. Narayanasamy introduced the bill amid continuing protests over the coal mines saga. The BSP is all for it.

The scene turned ugly when Agarwal and Karimpuri almost came to blows. It happened when Agarwal tried to approach the chairman's podium and was stopped by Karimpuri, who held him by the collar.

Agarwal blamed Karimpuri for the incident.

"In my whole career in parliament, I have never seen anyone being stopped from speaking. This is the dictatorship tradition of BSP," he said.

Karimpuri refused to comment. BSP chief Mayawati and Mulayam Singh also did not comment.

Mayawati blamed both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not letting the bill pass.

"The Congress deliberately delayed it because they did not want to upset anyone before the presidential elections," she said.

"The BJP's stand should be condemned. The controversy over coal block allocation is important but reservation in promotions is equally important," she said.

SC/ST Commission chief P.L. Puniya called the scuffle an insult to parliament. BJP's Ravishankar Prasad said the scuffle had hit parliament's dignity.

The proposed bill aims to amend four articles of the constitution.

It seeks to remove the term "inadequate representation", mentioned in Article 16(4) to justify reservation in promotion and appointments, and also de-link the term "efficiency of administration" from the claims of SCs/STs for jobs and promotions, mentioned in Article 335.





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