The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BJP prevented Lok Sabha from moving forward on Mayawati-driven quota in promotions for dalits and tribals, putting off a vote on the controversial legislation to the budget session.
BSP supremo Mayawati, who was in the Lok Sabha gallery, later blamed the UPA government, insisting that the Congress could have got the Lok Sabha’s nod even on Wednesday if it had been serious about it.
Government sources said the UPA’s floor managers had toyed with the idea of putting the constitutional amendment to vote in the din but finally gave up. The BJP didn’t play along.
The BJP had seen opposition to the move from within its ranks after the party backed the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha. Some Lok Sabha MPs complained it would alienate the party’s upper caste support base.
BJP leaders believe it would be better to stall the promotion quota law on technical grounds of constitutionality, demanding a Presidential reference be made to get the Supreme Court’s opinion on the proposed amendment.
“The Bill should be sent to the Supreme Court so that its constitutionality may be checked,” Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath said.
SP members had been in the Well of the House since morning even as the Constitutional Amendment Bill was introduced to provide reservation in promotions.
BJP MPs too joined the protest when LK Advani asked for permission to make a point but wasn’t allowed since Congress MP PL Punia was already speaking.
BJP leaders later skipped going to the Speaker’s chamber for customary thanksgiving after parliament was adjourned sine die.
Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath tried to get opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, Advani and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on board. But it did not yield any results.
When the House met at 4pm, it was adjourned for another one-and-a-half hours, when speaker Meira Kumar decided to adjourn the house sine die.