NEW DELHI: Amid the parliament impasse over the coal block scam, a contentious bill to allow reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs was tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
But all was not smooth in the Upper House as lawmakers belonging to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) clashed with each other soon after the bill was tabled.
Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal and BSP leader Avtar Singh had a scuffle inside the house.
The scuffle broke out when members of the SP were opposing the bill and MP Naresh Agrawal rushed to the well only to bump into BSP MP Avtar Singh, who grabbed the SP MP by his collar to prevent him from proceeding to the well.
Tempers ran high as the brawl continued for sometime before Avtar Singh was made to take his seat.
Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy, who produced the bill in the Rajya Sabha, earlier urged the opposition parties, in particular the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to assist in the passage of the bill, which seeks to provide Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes quota in promotion in government jobs.
"The bill was approved by the Cabinet yesterday. Today we will present this bill in the Rajya Sabha. I appeal to the opposition and other major political parties to support the passage of this bill," said Narayanasamy.
"This is a very important bill, where the government and the major political parties are supporting this bill, this move for reservation for SC/ST. Therefore, this is my request to all the political parties to support the bill," he added.
The proposed Bill approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday seeks to provide a reserved jobs quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), and seeks to amend at least four articles of the Constitution to enable the government to provide a quota in promotions to SC/STs.
It seeks to remove the term inadequate representation, mentioned in Article 16(4) to justify reservation in promotion and appointments, and also delink the term efficiency of administration from the claims of SCs/STs for jobs and promotions, mentioned in Article 335.
Bharatiya Janata Party members meanwhile continued their protests demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the controversial coal blocks allocation.
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