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OBC panel fight stalls Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Trinamul MP Kalyan Banerjee and Union minister Giriraj Singh got involved in an argument in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday during a discussion on a bill to grant constitutional status to the OBC commission, forcing adjournment for the day.

The government tabled the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, proposing to negate the amendments suggested by the Rajya Sabha in the last session, but the discussion ended abruptly because of angry exchanges.

Participating in the debate, Banerjee slammed the government for taking "undue credit" for OBC welfare, accused it of not seeking the views of other parties and suggested that OBCs in Gujarat had opposed the BJP in the Assembly polls. He also attacked the government for not including a Muslim in the OBC panel.

"The Supreme Court had passed the order (on the Mandal Commission). So neither it has been done by Modiji nor any other Ji.... So do not claim that you have done this," Banerjee said.

"You have faced the situation in Gujarat. What have you done there in the case of OBCs? Why are the OBCs now fighting against you in Gujarat? The result (of the polls) has shown how you have gone down there (in Gujarat). It is because you have not accommodated the OBCs in Gujarat," Banerjee added.

Singh, the junior minister for micro, small and medium enterprises, rose in protest, backed by other BJP members. Singh and the others accused Banerjee of giving wrong information.

Banerjee alleged the Opposition was being threatened by a minister and not allowed to speak. Some Opposition members supported the Trinamul MP. The Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

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