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Brawl before tourists

New Delhi, Nov. 20: The rivalry between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh found its ugly echo in the Lok Sabha today when a Samajwadi MP pushed a BSP member even as a Canadian parliamentary delegation was witnessing the proceedings from a special gallery.

As the shocked House watched, external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, parliamentary affairs minister Pramod Mahajan and a few others rushed towards Samajwadi legislator Devendra Singh Yadav and separated him from Rashid Alvi before things could spin out of control.

Yadav was protesting Alvi’s comment that the Samajwadi was full of “criminals”.

The incident led to pandemonium and disruption of House proceedings for some time. Taking a serious view of the incident, Speaker Manohar Joshi said Yadav’s “misbehaviour” had lowered the dignity of the House and warned him not to repeat such behaviour in future.

Joshi said he was particularly pained that the incident took place before a visiting Canadian delegation.

Agitated Samajwadi members were on their feet as soon as the House assembled this morning and wanted action against Uttar Pradesh Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri for his “failure” to convene an Assembly session for a trial of strength as the Mayavati government had been “reduced to a minority”.

They accused Shastri of playing a “partisan role in shielding” the Mayavati-led BSP-BJP coalition government.

In the middle of the chorus, tempers flared suddenly when Alvi alleged that the Samajwadi was full of “criminals” and that no party had so many.

The remark provoked Yadav, who, along with his party colleagues, charged towards Alvi. Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav did not bother to stop them.

BSP members stormed the well of the House protesting against Yadav’s “misbehaviour”, but were pacified when Joshi said he would take necessary action after consulting the Rule Book.

The BJP condemned the incident, saying it has lowered the prestige of Parliament.

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