Standing firm on her dramatic announcement in Rajya Sabha two days ago, BSP chief Mayawati sent a revised resignation as Upper House member Thursday and it was accepted by chairman Hamid Ansari. Soon after Mayawati had announced her resignation Tuesday, she had personally submitted a three-page resignation letter. However, it was rejected as it was not in the prescribed format.
Subsequently, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P J Kurien appealed to Mayawati Wednesday not to resign. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, too, appealed to Mayawati not to resign. The BSP chief, who skipped the House on Wednesday, tendered a fresh resignation on Thursday in the prescribed format. The resignation of one of the tallest Dalit leaders in active electoral politics comes when lawmakers across the country elected Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader from UP, as the next President.
The move appeared to be a desperate attempt by Mayawati to hold on to her claim as the flag-bearer of Dalit politics in the backdrop of the BJP seeking to make inroads in the Dalit electorate by installing Kovind as President. Mayawati’s desperation also stems from the BSP’s two consecutive defeats — 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 UP Assembly. For the four-term former UP cm, this was the third Rajya Sabha term and was slated to end next April. The BSP does not have enough MLAs in the UP Assembly to get her re-elected next year.
While there is speculation that the Opposition SP and Congress may help send her to the Rajya Sabha, RJD chief Lalu Prasad announced Tuesday he would use his political numbers to send Mayawati to the Upper House.