New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s resignation was accepted today after she met Vice President Hamid Ansari, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, with a second letter, a one-line handwritten note. Mayawati resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday after walking out of the house angrily and alleging that she was not being allowed to speak on what she called atrocities on Dalits. Her three-page resignation was not accepted, reportedly because it was not in the format required.
A resignation from Parliament must be “unconditional,” only stating the lawmaker’s intent to quit, explained officials in the Rajya Sabha secretariat. It must not contain explanations. Ms Mayawati’s resignation detailed the events that led to her angry walkout from the House and her decision to resign. The BSP chief’s critics alleged that the veteran Parliamentarian would be well aware that her resignation would not be accepted, accusing her of political drama to demonstrate to Dalits, her core vote base, that she remains their foremost champion after successive defeats in elections.
When cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had resigned from the Lok Sabha last year, his first resignation letter was not accepted – he had written he was resigning on moral grounds. The next day, he had to send another letter without citing any reason for his resignation. More recently, when Amarinder Singh, now Chief Minister of Punjab, resigned from the Lok Sabha over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement, he offered a lengthy thesis on why he was compelled to a quit. It was not accepted and he had to replace it with a one-line resignation.
On Tuesday, Mayawati stomped out of the Rajya Sabha after she was told to limit her speech on attacks on Dalits all over the country, with particular reference to an incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, to three minutes. “I simply wanted the Rajya Sabha Chair to pay attention to atrocities against the less fortunate sections of the society, especially Dalits. And as a representative, when I’m not being allowed to speak for them, I have no choice but to resign,” she said, unmoved by requests from other opposition leaders to reconsider her decision to resign.
It is seen as an attempt by Mayawati to consolidate her Dalit base and re-establish herself as the sole leader of the community after her defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year, when her party could win only 18 seats. This followed a washout in the general election three years ago, with the BSP winning no seat. Mayawati’s Rajya Sabha term ends in April next year and getting re-elected from UP will be a tough task with her handful of lawmakers in the state.