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 the BSP chief Wednesday not to resign her membership. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, too, appealed to Mayawati not to insist on resigning. Mayawati, who skipped the House Wednesday, stuck to her stand and tendered the fresh resignation in the prescribed format.
The resignation of Mayawati comes when lawmakers elected Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh, as the next President. The move appeared a desperate attempt by the BSP chief to hold on to her claim as the flag-bearer of Dalit politics in the backdrop of BJP seeking to make inroads in the Dalit electorate by installing Kovind as the President.
Mayawati’s desperation also stems from BSP’s two consecutive electoral defeats — 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 UP Assembly — in recent years.
This was Mayawati’s the third Rajya Sabha term, which was slated to end next April. BSP does not have enough MLAs in the UP Assembly to get her reelected next year. While there is speculation that the Opposition SP and Congress may help send her to Rajya Sabha again next year, RJD chief Lalu Prasad announced Tuesday he would use his political numbers in the Bihar assembly to send Mayawati to the Upper House and signal wider opposition unity against the BJP.