Mayawati quits Rajya Sabha: BSP supremo's resignation likely to be rejected on technical grounds

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Tuesday tendered her resignation as a Rajya Sabha member, hours after the Chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati met Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari on Tuesday evening and handed over her resignation letter.

BSP Supremo Mayawati. AFP

BSP Supremo Mayawati. AFP

However, India Today reported that the Chairman is likely to reject the BSP supremo's resignation as her resignation letter also provided an explanation for her resignation, which is in  contravention of the rules of the House.

Members quitting the House need to submit their resignation in a simple format without any conditions, India Today reported.

In her resignation letter, she wrote:"When I got up to speak, the government side did not allow me to complete. Their members stood up and interfered... Instead of asking them not to interfere, the deputy chairman asked me to end as the allocated three minutes were over. Which rule says a member cannot speak for more than three minutes. It is not good."

According to the Rajya Sabha's rules, the resignation letter has to be limited to one line which clearly states the intention to resign. If a member wants to resign or quit from the Rajya Sabha, a member who intends to resign his seat must write a letter to the Chairman, stating his or her intention to resign the seat. If the member hands over the letter in person and conveys to the Chairman that the resignation is voluntary and genuine, the Chairman may accept the resignation immediately.

According to this Firstpost report, if the Chairman receives the letter by any other means, he or she may make inquiries to determine through himself, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat or any other agency — that the resignation is voluntary and genuine — if he determines otherwise, he may reject the resignation. A member may withdraw his resignation at any time before it is accepted, according to the rules of procedures.

The Chairman shall also inform the council that the member has resigned and that he has accepted the resignation. After the resignation, the secretary-general shall publish the information in the Bulletin and the Gazette and send a copy of the notification to the Election Commission for filling the vacancy, according to the Firstpost report.

Why did Mayawati threaten to resign?

Mayawati was told to introduce a motion in the Upper House, when the leader instead started speaking about the rising atrocities against minorities and Dalits in the country. Mayawati said that the BJP-ruled states have failed to reign in the atrocities against minorities and Dalits.

Claiming that the atrocities in Uttar Pradesh are on the rise, Mayawati said that the government is not even allowing her party to help the people. Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien was quick to remind the BSP chief that she only has three minutes in Zero Hour to discuss an issue. Rajya Sabha immediately erupted over Kurien's comments and soon saw several MLAs storm the Well.

Speaking on developments inside Rajya Sabha, Mayawati said that she is well aware that there is a limit of 3 minutes in Zero Hour, but she was not speaking under the Zero Hour. She said that when she tried to keep her point, the Treasury Benches stood up and disrupted her speech.

"If I am not allowed to speak right now, I will resign right away. I will come and give my resignation right now, if I am not allowed to speak right now," the BSP chief said after being asked to wrap up her impromptu speech on Saharanpur anti-Dalit violence.

"When I tried speaking about the weaker sections today in the Rajya Sabha, I was not allowed to speak. Why?" asked Mayawati at a press conference after the Upper House was adjourned.

"Laanat hai. Agar mai apne weaker sections ki baat sadan mein nahi rakh sakti to mujhe House mein rehne ka adhikaar nahi hai (It's shameful. If I am not allowed to speak out for the weaker sections in Parliament, then I have no right being inside either of the Houses). This is the reason I have decided to quit Rajya Sabha, I am not being heard, not allowed to speak," Mayawati said.

Mayawati also invoked BR Ambedkar and said that a similar incident had occurred with the Dalit leader who resigned and then later spoke to media over his reasons to quit Parliament.

Visuals of Mayawati getting frustrated with the House's way of functioning went viral. Visuals showed Mayawati slapping her desk, mumbling a few words and leaving the Rajya Sabha in a huff. Mayawati is the lone BSP MP in Rajya Sabha and her term ends in a year.

After a solemn first day of Monsoon Session of Parliament on Monday, Tuesday was slated to be an active day with Opposition all geared up to corner the Narendra Modi government over issues ranging from cow vigilantes, farmer crisis and GST bill.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: Jul 19, 2017 12:14 pm | Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 12:15 pm


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