Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday resigned from the Rajya Sabha after she was asked by chair to restrict her impromptu speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. An angry Mayawati had in the morning announced that she would resign from the Parliament after Deputy Chairman P J Kurien had asked her to wrap up her speech as she had exceeded the three minutes given to her to make her submission.
She met Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to submit his resignation in the afternoon. Mayawati has given a three-page resignation letter to Ansari which officials say may not be accepted because members quitting Parliament are expected to submit their resignation in a simple format and without conditions, reported IANS.
"I had wanted to raise issues in the morning relating to Dalits and about the atrocities committed on them in Saharanpur's Shabirpur village. But you saw the way the treasury benches, including ministers, behaved and prevented me from speaking. When I cannot convey what I want to, then I thought it is not okay. I decided I will resign. I have just met the Rajya Sabha Chairman (Hamid Ansari) and I have handed over my resignation from the House," she told reporters after submitting her resignation.
Mayawati, whose six-year term in the Upper House expires in April next year, said when she was on her way to submit the resignation, leaders of the UPA requested her not to resign saying her strong voice was needed in the House. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was also seen at Ansari's office during the meeting between Mayawati and the Vice-President.
"I tried to persuade her from not resigning but I think she had already made up her mind," he said after Mayawati's resignation.
Azad criticised the treasury benches and ministers for not allowing Mayawati to raise issues of concern to her.
"I am thankful to them but I have decided to stick to my decision," she said.
Earlier in the day, Mayawati argued with Kurien saying how can she be prevented from raising the issue about her 'samaj' (community) and the Dalits. "I have not finished. You cannot do this."
"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.
Kurien said she can only call for a discussion after giving a notice under rule 267 that seeks adjournment of proceedings to take up an issue and not make a speech to initiate a discussion.
A discussion can begin only after the Chair, on the advise of the government, accepts the notice and agrees for a discussion.
Kurien rose from his seat in an attempt to calm her down but Mayawati refused to agree saying she has 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 of the House in a huff.