Hours after storming out of the Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to speak on alleged Dalit atrocities in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati resigned from the Parliament on Tuesday.
Soon after coming out of the Rajya Sabha, an angry Mayawati had 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.
However, her resignation may not be accepted because members quitting Parliament are expected to submit their resignation in a simple format and without conditions.
According to the rule which is for both the Houses of the Parliament, the resignation cannot be an explanation of clarification. Instead, it has to be simple and limited to one line in which the member clearly states that he/she wants to resign from the membership of the house.
This is similar to what happened in the case of Navjot Singh Sidhu. He became the member of Lok Sabha in 2004 and resigned from the house in 2006. However, the resignation was not accepted due to the detailing in the draft.
The resignation submitted by Sidhu was a resignation cum explanation letter, which was refused by the chair. His resignation was accepted only after he submitted a new resignation letter which simply stated that he wants to step down as member of the house and his resignation should be accepted.
Another example is that of Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation from Lok Sabha in November 2016. He wrote a long letter to the office putting his word of thoughts. However, his resignation was accepted only after a new, one-line resignation was produced to the Speaker's office by him.
The rule applies to Mayawati as well. Her three-page resignation is not its appropriate form to be accepted by the chair. There is all possibility that the resignation letter submitted by her would be rejected by the office and she would be asked to re-draft and re-submit the 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.
Earlier in the day, Mayawati argued with Deputy Chairman P J 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.
Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad supported Mayawati and took objection to Naqvi’s remarks.
“When Mayawati tried to talk, she was told we have got the mandate. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate to massacre minorities and Dalits,” Azad, a Congress leader, said amid interruptions by the treasury benches.
If her resignation is accepted, the BSP as well as the Opposition will lose an MP while the BJP, who already has a brute majority in UP, will bag the seat in the state.
Given that Mayawati’s party has just 19 MLAs in the 403 member-strong Assembly, she is unlikely to get any seat in the biennial polls in April next year. Her party has no member in the Lok Sabha, and observers say her focus on Dalit atrocities is part of a strategy for her to claw back political mileage.
However, resigning from the Parliament is a big step and is likely to help her regain some strength on the ground and among her supporters.
Meanwhile, the BJP has termed Mayawat’s resignation and stormy exit from the Parliament as a calculated move which only exposed her “theatrical nature”.
“She has lost all base in Uttar Pradesh. In the next term she doesn't even have adequate numbers to get re-elected to Rajya Sabha. Over a trivial issue, she has threatened to resign, knowing completely well that it would not be accepted. Her excuse for the resignation is not convincing, it only exposes her theatrical nature,” said BJP leader S Prakash.