BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday resigned from Parliament (PTI photo)
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati was not in Parliament this morning after her dramatic announcement yesterday that she was quitting the Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to speak on what she called atrocities on Dalits, but her three-page resignation is yet to be accepted. This is 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, handed to Vice President Hamid Ansari, also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, details the events that led to her angry walkout from the House on Tuesday and her decision to resign.
The BSP chief's critics allege 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. If Mayawati indeed wants to resign from the upper house of parliament, she will have to hand in another letter in the correct format, sources said.
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 Amrinder 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. As opposition parties have rallied around her, Bihar's Lalu Prasad has offered her a Rajya Sabha seat from his state.
"Spoke with Mayawati Ji in length. Offered & requested her to be Rajyasabha MP frm Bihar to fight against atrocities & divisive agenda of BJP," Mr Yadav tweeted.