SP walks out of Rajya Sabha over quota bill

The Samajwadi Party today staged a walk-out from the Rajya Sabha on Thursday after some high drama when deputy chairman of the house P J Kurien sought to expel two of its members from the chamber for excessively rowdy behaviour.

The SP was protesting against the introduction of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, which provides quotas in promotions for Scheduled Caste and Tribe employees in government services. This is the third time in the last four days that the bill has been sought to be introduced.

The two big Uttar Pradesh-based parties are divided on the issue - Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP is vehemently opposed to the bill, while Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party as strongly in favour of it.

Later, the SP made it clear that its opposition to the quota bill and today's walk-out did not imply that it would withdraw its support to the United Progressive Alliance government.

"There is no relation between today's events in the Rajya Sabha and continuance of our support," party leader Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters outside Parliament House. The SP has nine members in the upper house.

Calling today a "black day in the parliamentary democracy", Yadav said his party has been protesting against the bill right from the beginning, but could not make a mark in the house today as other parties have ''colluded'' to back the measure.