Rajya Sabha adjourned amid slogan-shouting by BSP members

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day Wednesday amid slogan-shouting by members of the Bahujan Samaj Party demanding early passage of the bill for reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The house had earlier seen two adjournments on the issue -- first till 12 noon and then till 12.30 p.m.

As the house met following the second adjournment, BSP members gathered near the chairman's podium raising slogans against the government.

"An anti-reservation government will not work, an anti-Dalit government will not last," the BSP members shouted.

Deputy chairman P.J. Kurien, who was in the chair, adjourned the house after a few minutes of the commotion.

Earlier, BSP chief Mayawati created a stir in the house during Question Hour when she virtually accused Chairman Hamid Ansari of not ensuring the smooth conduct of proceedings during zero hour.

She said there was need to ensure smooth conduct of proceeding even after 12 p.m, when the chairman usually leaves, allowing the deputy chairman to conduct proceedings.

"You go at 12... house should run. To ensure this is your responsibility. When it will be 12, you will not be seen," she said.

Ansari, visibly surprised at Mayawati's words, told her to allow Question Hour to proceed.

"What are you doing. This is Question Hour," he said.

However, Mayawati persisted with her demand that it should be decided first how the house will run after 12.

She said "tamasha (disruption) takes place at 12".

"The house is functioning now. First it should be decided (how it will be run)," Mayawati said. She and BSP members then advanced to the chairman's podium to press their demand.

The chairman then adjourned the house till noon.

Mayawati, who is pitching strongly for the passage of the constitution amendment bill to provide reservation in promotions, stunned members with the accusatory tone in her remarks.

Members of the Congress and the BJP appeared taken aback by Mayawati's choice of words, but did not react.

The house has seen disruption over the constitution amendment bill to provide reservations in promotions, a major demand of the BSP.

The Samajwadi Party is firmly opposed to the bill and has vowed to block it. Its members have been raising slogans against the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

As per convention, members do not cast aspersions against the chair.

The chairman presides over the Question Hour, while Zero Hour and subsequent proceedings are generally conducted by the deputy chairman and the panel of vice chairmen.

The chairman, however, returns for important occasions - a speech by the prime minister, for instance, or when the house is adjourned sine die at the conclusion of the session.

The BSP members also disrupted proceedings of the Lok Sabha Wednesday, demanding action on alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks. The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m.

BSP members had approached Speaker Meira Kumar's podium to raise the issue during Question Hour earlier, in what appears to be a pressure tactic to get the bill on reservations in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The speaker had then adjourned the house till noon.

The trouble continued when the house met again and Congress MP Francisco Sardinha, who was in the chair, adjourned the house till 2 p.m.