BSP chief Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha, says govt stopped her from expressing views

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.

"I met the chairman to hand over my resignation letter. It is not good that I cannot speak in the House on issues close to me... When I got up to speak, the government did not allow me to complete. Their members stood up and interfered. It is not good," she said after resigning.

In her resignation letter, she said, "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," she said.

The move is seen as an attempt by Mayawati to consolidate her core Dalit support base and re-establish herself as the sole leader of the community after facing a massive defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year. Her party could win only 18 seats while the BJP came to power by winning more than 300 of the 403 seats

Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat told PTI the decision on accepting Mayawati's resignation lies with the chairman. Also, the format states that the resignation letter should be brief and should not mention the reasons. Her letter is three-page long.

There is a rule for both the houses of the Parliament which says that resignation by the members has to be unconditional. Mayawati's resignation is hence likely to be rejected, India Today reported.

On the second day of Monsoon Session, an angry Mayawati had in the Rajya Sabha threatened to quit the Upper House.

While elaborating the incidents in Saharanpur, Mayawati had said the Dalits had agreed to the district administration's order not to take out any procession or install a statue of BR Ambedkar on 14 April. But the followers of Maharana Pratap however took out a procession on 5 May, she said.

Mayawati, whose term in the Upper House is till April 2018, argued with Kurien asking how she could be prevented from raising the issue about her 'samaj' (community) and the Dalits. "I have not finished. You cannot do this," she said.


File image of Mayawati. PTI

File image of Mayawati. PTI

Before she could complete, Kurien asked her to sit and called the next speaker, saying "you cannot monopolise", which the BSP president found unacceptable.

"I have no moral right to be in the House if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities being committed against Dalits," she said.

Asking her to not make a speech, Kurien told Mayawati to seek a discussion after giving a notice under rule 267 that seeks adjournment of proceedings to take up an issue.

Refusing to budge, Mayawati said she had no right to be in the House if she cannot protect the rights of her community. "I am going to resign from the House," she said and walked out in a huff.

Her party colleagues led by Satish Mishra followed her but were back in the House soon to raise slogans against the alleged anti-Dalit policies of the government.

They also rushed into the Well to shout, "Dalit virodhi yeh sarkar nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi" (anti-Dalit government will not be tolerated), thereby disrupting Tuesday's proceedings.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 13:30 PM

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