A day after writing to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari tendering her resignation, BSP chief Mayawati skipped the day’s proceedings. Initially, her absence was mentioned only once — by Trinamool member Derek O’ Brien during the discussion on lynching — until Mayawati’s colleague Satish Chandra Mishra made it a talking point. Mishra said Mayawati’s resignation was a “serious” one and she will henceforth directly address the masses.
As Mishra rued that she had not been allowed to speak Tuesday, deputy chairman P J Kurien explained to him how he had allowed her to speak for a few minutes even before the discussion could commence, solely because he found her standing in her seat. He repeatedly assured Mishra that there could be “some miscommunication”. Kurien and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad appealed to Mayawati to reconsider her decision. “None of us are happy about her resigning… We all have a lot of respect for her and regard her as a senior leader. The House will ask her to reconsider her decision,” Kurien said. “It is the decision of the House that she should take back her resignation.”
His announcement met with support from Opposition benches. There was no such appeal from the ruling BJP benches. MoS Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, endorsed a suggestion from the chair when Kurien asked if even the ruling party is asking Mayawati to withdraw the resignation. BJP sources justified their indifference suggesting that Mayawati’s dramatic resignation announcement was scripted at the behest of the Congress amid strains within the grand alliance in Bihar. BJP sources suggest that Lalu Prasad’s offer to send Mayawati to Rajya Sabha from Bihar appeared an attempt to woo the Mahadalit community in Bihar. “Nitish Kumar has carefully cultivated a Dalit support base. Lalu’s support to Mayawati appears an attempt to eat into a constituency nursed by Nitish,” suggested a BJP leader.
“Spoke with Mayawati Ji in length. Offered and requested her to be Rajyasabha MP from Bihar to fight against atrocities & divisive agenda of BJP,” Lalu said in a tweet Tuesday. BSP sources asserted that Mayawati was firm on her announcement. “If her resignation is not accepted on technical grounds, they should suggest the format. Behenji will submit her letter in that format then,” said a BSP source.