Lucknow, Sep 20 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh legislators belonging to the ruling Samajwadi Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party scuffled inside the assembly Friday.
The melee began when Child Welfare Minister Ambika Chowdhary made a comment as BJP legislator Suresh Rana, an accused in the recent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar area, was making a statement.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sat through the incident while senior members from both sides brought the situation under control with the help of marshals of the house.
BJP legislature party leader Hukum Singh, who is also stands accused in the rioting case, demanded that Rana, who represents Bahwan in Muzaffarnagar district and is accused of giving inflammatory speeches there, should be allowed to present his case.
Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey acceded to the request and allowed the BJP legislator to speak.
When Rana got up and started elaborating on the sequence of events, Speaker Pandey asked him to cut it short as all this had been previously discussed and told him to sit down so the chair could proceed with other business.
Incensed at this, the BJP legislators trooped towards the speaker's podium, after which Rana was given 10 more minutes to speak.
It was here that Chowdhary started passing comments, leading to vocal protests from the BJP benches, and the house was adjourned for 15 minutes. But as others started to leave, BJP and SP legislators started pushing and shoving one another. Senior Congress and BJP members intervened and separated the scuffling factions.
When the house reconvened, senior Congress legislator Pramod Tiwari condemned the incident and Hukum Singh said the minister should not have made the snide comment.
Leader of Opposition Swamy Prasad Maurya, of the Bahujan Samaj Party, said the behaviour of the minister was regrettable and he should have been aware of the decorum of his office and the house.
Chowdhary said he regretted if his words were taken as an offence by others and asked the chair to go through the records and check if he had said something unparliamentary.
Later, the house was adjourned sine die, bringing the four-day monsoon session to an end. While a supplementary budget of Rs.7,000 crore was passed, most of the business hours were marred by debate and protests over the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.