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Mayawati resigns from Parliament after being disallowed to speak on Dalit atrocities

Mayawati resigns from Parliament after being disallowed to speak on Dalit atrocities

New Delhi: BSP leader Mayawati Tuesday tendered her resignation as a Rajya Sabha member, blaming the BJP and the Chair for not allowing her to raise the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh in the House.

Hours before she met Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to tender her resignation, an angry Mayawati (61) walked out of the upper house and threatened to quit Parliament after the Chair asked her to restrict her speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

"I met the chairman to hand over my resignation letter. It is not fair that I am not allowed to speak in the House on issues close to me...," she told reporters.

In her resignation letter, she said, "When I got up to speak, the government side did not allow me to complete. Their members stood up and interfered... Instead of asking them not to interfere, the Deputy Chairman asked me to end as the allocated three minutes were over. Which rule says a member cannot speak for more than three minutes. It is not good," she said.

The move is seen as an attempt by Mayawati to consolidate her core Dalit support base and re-establish herself as the sole leader of the community after facing a massive defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year. Her party could win only 18 seats while the BJP came to power by winning more than 300 of the 403 seats.

Sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said the decision on accepting Mayawatis resignation lies with the chairman. The format states that the resignation letter should be brief and should not mention the reasons. Her letter is three-page long.

Earlier, in the Rajya Sabha, Mayawati said she will quit from the house after the Chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech.

"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 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. PTI

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