Controversial quota bill taken up in RS amid high drama

New Delhi: After her fusillade yesterday, Mayawati today had her way when the Rajya Sabha took up for consideration the bill for quota in promotions for SCs/STs after high drama in which two members were named and an isolated Samajwadi Party walked out in protest.

The bill, which drew wide support from parties across the spectrum except SP and Shiv Sena, is likely to come up for voting on Monday.

Mayawati's BSP, which has been campaigning for the early passage of Constitution(Amendment) bill, made the first move for a thaw when she reposed her faith in Chairman Hamid Ansari against whom she had made critical remarks yesterday.

"I respect you. I respect the Chair…I have full faith in the Chair that he will find a way to get the voice of the downtrodden heard," Mayawati said.

"I have full faith in you. I have full confidence that you will be able to find a way out to ensure that the House runs smoothly and the legislation is passed," she said.

Shortly later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley reposed their faith in the Chair and said way should be found to ensure smooth running of the House.

However, there was high drama in the afternoon when Personnel Minister V Narayanasamy sought to move the bill. He later moved the bill for consideration of the House.

Members of the Samajwadi Party, which has been strongly opposing the bill, shouted slogans and stormed the well of the house against taking up the measure.

Repeated warnings by Vice Chairman Prof P J Kurien failed to bring order even as he named SP member Arvind Kumar Singh and asked him to withdraw for "disorderly" conduct in the House.

Singh's colleague Naresh Agarwal instead wanted the Chair to suspend all the SP members. The House was adjourned thrice for brief intervals.