BSP chief Mayawati threatened to resign from the Rajya Sabha on the second day of the monsoon session on Tuesday, claiming she was not allowed to speak after repeated disruptions. Mayawati demanded a discussion over Dalit violence issue. Deputy Chairman told her she had already made her demand for a full discussion and should let the House conduct its business. The BSP chief launched a scathing attack against the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh as well as the Modi government.
She said the governments remained mute spectators to the violence targeting Dalits in Saharanpur in May when houses belonging to the marginalized were torched and 15 members of the community injured. She said BSP leaders were not even allowed to visit the families of the victims.
“If I am not allowed to talk, if I cannot represent the section of the society I belong to, if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities on Dalits, then there is no point in staying in the House. I will resign,” Mayawati said and walked out in anger. She later told the media outside the House that she had “decided to resign as a Rajya Sabha member today”.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said as a disciple of B.R. Ambedkar she was following Babasaheb’s example who had resigned as the Law Minister when he was not allowed to speak and table the Hindu Code Bill. Inside the House, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi said Mayawati had insulted the Chair by threatening to resign. “She must apologise.”
Citing rules, Naqvi said no member was allowed to speak for more than three minutes during the Zero Hour and Mayawati had already spoken beyond the allotted time. She was making wild allegations as she had not come to terms with her election debacle in Uttar Pradesh, the Minister said.
The Congress supported the BSP supremo. The leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took objection to Naqvi’s remarks, saying the BJP had got a mandate to protect the poor, farmers, minorities and Dalits. “When Mayawati tried to talk, she was told that we have got the mandate. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate to massacre minorities and Dalits. We are not with this government,” an angry Azad said.
He said the Congress had moved an adjournment notice for farmers, Dalits and minorities and the government was gagging the opposition. “If the opposition wants to raise issues related to downtrodden, it must be allowed.”
The Congress leader also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had hoped for a “cooperative” monsoon session. Azad and other Congress members too later walked out of the House. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury also supported Mayawati’s demand as “the points she has made are serious”.
“This government is doing nothing about atrocities against Dalits and minorities. They are in serious danger,” Yechury said. Amid noisy scenes, Deputy Chairman Kurien adjourned the House till noon. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 3 p.m. minutes after it met again at 12.