Yashvir Singh snatched the copy, as Narayanasamy was about to table it in the house for its consideration and passing after repeated adjournments over the bill. However, this did not go down well with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who immediately tried to grab the document from Singh’s hand.
Sensing trouble, Congress member Vilas Muttemvar immediately got up and pushed the SP member aside thinking Singh could harm Gandhi. As other Congress members gathered around Singh, Speaker Meira Kumar, visibly surprised with the suddenness of the act, immediately adjourned the house for the day.
Government sources said an angry Gandhi accompanied the speaker to her chamber and discussed the issue with her. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the government would urge the speaker to take strong action against the SP member. Kamal Nath said that in his 32 years, he had never seen such an incident, which “disrespects parliament”.
“It’s a sad day for parliamentary democracy. A section of the house will disrupt the proceeding and not allow debate to be taken up. They may have a different view but they can debate and vote against it. If you don’t allow the house to function, how will parliament work,” he said.
Amid uncertainty over the bill’s fate, the government said it would bring it again today, the last day of the winter session. “The government will bring the bill to the Lok Sabha tomorrow. Adamancy of a party has to be reflected in the debate. This is frustrating parliamentary democracy,” Kamal Nath said. The Constitution (117 Amendment) Bill, 2012, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said the government’s move to table the bill was unconstitutional. “We will continue to oppose the bill. Juniors will become seniors. Who will tolerate this? We will go to the people on this,” Yadav said after the house was adjourned.
The Congress chose not to attack Yadav, who supports the ruling UPA government from outside and helped it in defeating a vote against FDI in multi-brand retail in parliament two weeks ago. However, the the party said the snatching of the bill was unfortunate.