New Delhi: An angry Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday said she will quit from the Rajya Sabha after the chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
“I will resign from Rajya Sabha today," a visibly anguished Mayawati shot back when deputy chairman P. J. Kurien asked her to wrap up her speech as she had exceeded the three minutes given to her to make her submission.
Mayawati, whose term in the Upper House is till April next year, 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. He 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.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Mayawati was challeging the Chair. “She should apologise. She has threatened the Chair," he said. BSP members immediately rushed into the Well shouting, “Dalit virodhi yeh sarkar nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi" (anti-Dalit government will not be tolerated).
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad briefly prevailed over them to allow him to make his submission. Azad said the government at an all-party meeting before the start of the Monsoon Session had agreed to discuss any issue that the opposition wants to raise in the house. “Promise was made to us in the presence of the Prime Minister. You are going against that," Azad said.
He said the Opposition led by Congress has given notices to discuss crisis facing farmers, anti-Dalit violence and lynching of minorities. Responding to the barbs of the treasury benches to respect the people’s mandate, Azad said the government has got a mandate to protect the Dalits and minorities and for development. “You didnt get a mandate to massacre minorities and Dalits," he said adding the Congress was staging a walkout of the House in protest. Congress members then walked out of the House. Soon thereafter, BSP members were back in the Well shouting anti-government slogans.
Sitaram Yechury (CPM) said the government policies were pushing farmers to suicide. Naqvi said the government was ready for discussion on any issue and the opposition should give a notice. Kurien said the government was agreeing to having a discussion, so the opposition members should return to their seats and start it. “Shouting slogan is no solution. We can discuss.
The Chair is ready to allow discussion on all subjects. Let us start," he said. But the opposition members remained unrelenting, forcing him to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.
Earlier, Mayawati while elaborating on the incidents in Saharanpur, said the Dalits had agreed to the district administration’s order not to take out any procession or install a statue of Bhim Rao Ambedkar on 14 April. But the followers of Maharana Pratap however took out a procession on 5 May, she said. Before she could complete, Kurien asked her to sit and called the next speaker, saying “you cannot monopolise", angering Mayawati.