The Lok Sabha was adjourned till Monday noon after MPs from the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) noisily opposed the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to reserve a third of seats for women in all legislatures.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD president Lalu Prasad joined their party MPs in raising slogans as the speaker tried to continue the question hour amid the din.
Some SP and BSP MPs tried to disrupt the proceedings by gathering near the speaker’s podium. The MPs from the three parties demanded that the bill should ensure a "quota within the quota" for women from backward classes.
At one stage, Mulayam Singh had a verbal spat with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the leader of the house. A desperate Mukherjee appealed to Mulayam Yadav with folded hands to end the disruption.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav, one of the bitterest critics of the bill, was not present in the house.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and his deputy V. Narayanasamy also tried to pacify Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad but failed.
Unable to bring peace, the speaker adjourned the house at 11.20 a.m.
The protests started soon after the speaker welcomed special guests from the Croatian parliament to watch the house proceedings from a special box and made a reference to the international women’s day Monday.(IANS)