Members of the ruling Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party came to blows in the Uttar Pradesh assembly on Friday after the House was adjourned over accusations on the recent Muzaffarangar riots which claimed 47 lives.
The House was adjourned for 25 minutes after BJP raised a storm in response to senior minister Ambika Chaudhary making aggressive remarks against a party member, following which BJP and SP members, including ministers, indulged in a free-for-all in the well of the House.
With the situation taking an ugly turn, Congress' Pramod Tewari and Pradip Mathur helped by the marshals rushed to disentangle the members as tempers between the two sides ran high.
The problem started after Question Hour when Suresh Rana (BJP), whose name figured in the FIR lodged for giving provocative speech leading to Muzaffarnagar riots, was given a chance to give a clarification on the floor of the House.
Rana said he came to know about the FIR against him through the media and asked the government to examine the CD of the speech. He said he was ready to face the punishment if proved guilty and made a reference to involvement of some ruling party members, causing SP leaders to shout him down.
Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey asked him to confine himself to his clarification to which the BJP protested saying Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan was allowed to speak for an hour.
The BJP members barged into the well of the House shouting slogans against Khan and demanding adequate time for Rana to give his clarification, alleging discrimination.
After the speaker relented and the BJP members returned to their seats, Rana made a mention about an incident in Shamli and how he and his party leader Humkum Singh made attempts to restore peace.
Hearing this, the SP members were again up on their seats.
Ambika Chaudhary said Rana should utilise the opportunity and give his clarification.
However, he took offence to BJP's Upendra Tewari (who had defeated Chaudhary on Phephna seat in Ballia) rising up to make his point aggressively, and asked him to sit down saying he had seen such "high-handedness" from Tewari before also.
Chaudhary's remarks led to pandemonium and BJP members barged into the well of the House, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house first for 15 minutes and later for 10 minutes.
As soon as the Speaker announced the adjournment, BJP members turned towards Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav apparently to explain their viewpoint but the SP members pushed them back and it was free-for-all for some minutes.
When the House reassembled, Congress' Pramod Tewari, Hukum Singh and Leader of the Opposition and BSP member Swami Prasad Maurya asked Chaudhary to apologise for the language used by him as it was not in keeping with the high esteem and honour of the House.
In reply, Chaudhary said if there was unparliamentary word used by him, it should be deleted and assured that he had no reluctance in expressing regret.
Image: UP assembly in Lucknow