Lok Sabha adjourned over promotions, Muslim job quota

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party disrupted both houses of parliament Monday protesting the bill on reservations in government jobs for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and demandig implementation of the Sachar Committee report on minorities.

The Lok Sabha was disrupted repeatedly five times and was adjourned till Tuesday in what appears to be the Samajwadi Party's pressure tactics ahead of the Rajya Sabha vote on the controversial quota in promotions bill Monday evening.

The SP, led by its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, raised the issue of reservation in government job promotions as soon as the lower house assembled Monday morning.

SP members rushed towards the speaker's podium, raising slogans against the bill and disrupting question hour.

Speaker Meira Kumar appealed for peace and told the SP it would be given time to raise the matter during zero hour.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath also tried to pacify SP members but they continued to protest. Finally, the speaker adjourned the house till 11.30 a.m. and then till noon. The house was again adjourned till 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and then for the day as similar scenes prevailed.

In the upper house, SP member Ram Gopal Yadav called for the implementation of the Sachar Committee report, which recommends job reservation for Muslims.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari asked Ram Gopal Yadav to raise the issue during zero hour and let the question hour run smoothly.

The party's Naresh Aggarwal asked its members to gather near the chairman's podium, following which the chair adjourned the house for half an hour.

While the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been pressing the government to pass the bill, the SP has issued veiled threats that it could reconsider withdrawing its outside support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) if the bill is passed.

The SP -- which supports the Congress-led UPA from outside -- Sunday alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation was being used by the Congress to trap the party. The SP had helped the government in passing a vote on allowing foreign equity in multi-brand retail.

Parliament has been disrupted frequently over the issue of foreign equity in multi-brand retail since the winter session started Nov 22.