No sooner the House assembled for Question Hour than SP, RJD and JD(U) members trooped into the Well protesting against the government’s move to take up the bill for consideration in the Rajya Sabha.
Speaker Meira Kumar continued with the Question Hour amid sloganeering by members of these parties who were demanding that provisions of the bill should also have quotas for Dalits, OBCs and Muslims.
As protests grew louder following SP chief Mulayam Singh, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav’s presence in the Well, two Marshals took positions on either side of the Speaker’s table to prevent any unruly incident.
Mulayam Singh Yadav was seen having a word with Congress president Sonia Gandhi. With members showing no signs of relenting, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes and called leaders of all parties for a meeting. As protests continued when the House met again , the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till noon.
The suspended members in the Rajya Sabha are Subhash Yadav (RJD), Sabir Ali (LJP), Veerpal Singh Yadav, Nand Kishore Yadav, Amir Alam Khan and Kamal Akhtar (all SP), and Ejaz Ali(Unattached).
The motion for their suspension was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan and was passed by a voice vote.
The action was taken under Rule 256 of the House, for showing total ‘disregard for dignity of Council and authority of the Chair’ by obstructing the business of the House.
Yesterday, these members had indulged in unprecedented unruly scenes and even tried to attack Chairman Hamid Ansari when the Womens’ Reservation Bill was moved by the government. After their suspension, the House was adjourned by Ansari for the second time in the day.
As soon as the House re-assembled at 12 noon after the first adjournment of 55 minutes, Ansari directed laying of papers amid the uproar created by SP, RJD and LJP members who are opposed to the Bill.
While the bill was not taken up, the Chairman allowed Chavan to move the motion for suspension of the seven members under Rule 256 which does not allow any adjournment or debate.
After their suspension, members squatted in the Well of the House and refused to leave. They were seen sitting till the press gallery was cleared.
Meanwhile, irked by the developments in the Rajya Sabha over the Women’s Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today telephoned Vice President Hamid Ansari and expressed regret over attempts by some SP members to attack him in the House.
The Prime Minister called Ansari to express regret over the behaviour of some Samajwadi Party members who tried to attack him, sources in the Vice President’s office were quoted as saying.