BSP chief Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha

A view of the Lok Sabha as opposition members protest in the well of the House

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister today in the Rajya Sabha raised the issue of "atrocities against Dalits" and held the BJP responsible for it. Mayawati added that Dalits, Muslims and other backward sections of the society are facing oppression in the Modi regime.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has a total of six Member of Parliaments, including Mayawati, in the Upper House.

Speaking about a recent incident of caste violence in Shabi in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district, Mayawati said amid protests from Treasury Benches: "If you don't allow me to speak I will resign from the Rajya Sabha". Over a period of time she became isolated and politically unavailable, building a wall of secrecy around her.

"The Dalits were suppressed in Saharanpur but the government did not do anything about it", she said.

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Soon after, he called back and conveyed his acceptance of the opposition leaders's decision and thanked them. The parties also briefly discussed the floor strategy for the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.

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Earlier, many parties, including Congress, had expressed the desire to support her candidature to ensure her return to Rajya Sabha. However, she walked out of the House after Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien asked her to cut short her speech.

Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said the decision on accepting Mayawati's resignation lies with the chairman. He said, "This behavior of BJP Ministers against Mayawati ji proves that BJP is an anti-Dalit party".

After her term expires, she has little chance of getting reelected as her party has only 19 legislators in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. As it is her party couldn't win even a single seat in the 2014 parliamentary polls.

She later met Vice-President Hamid Ansari and handed over her resignation. BJP spokesperson and Dalit leader Bizay Sonkar Shastri dismissed her resignation as mere "nautanki". She said that is why she has chose to resign. Her tenure is anyway going to end in the next session. She has lost people's mandate. "If I can not speak for the rights of the Dalits, then I have no right to continue as a member of the Rajya Sabha", the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Dalit leader said.