BSP chief Mayawati quit Parliament in protest on Tuesday. Photo: The Hindu
BSP chief Mayawati quit Parliament in protest on Tuesday. Photo: The Hindu

Mayawati resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday hours after angrily walking out of the Upper House of Parliament, declaring that she would quit if she was not permitted to address growing violence against Dalits and other minorities in Uttar Pradesh, according to media reports.

The head of the Bahujan Samaj Party met Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is chairman of the Rajya Sabha, to submit her resignation, NDTV reported.

“I simply wanted the Rajya Sabha chair to pay attention to the atrocities being meted out against the less fortunate sections of the society, especially Dalits. And as a representative, when I’m not being allowed to speak, I have no choice but to resign,” she said.

Earlier in the day, she told the Upper House: ”Since the time the BJP has come to power, there has been increasing exploitation of the Dalits, the poor, minorities, and backward castes.”

Raising the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur during the birth anniversary celebrations of Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mayawati said, “The Dalits were suppressed in Saharanpur. However, the government did nothing about it. No community is safe in Uttar Pradesh but the condition of the Dalits is worse.”

However, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien interrupted her, asking her to end her speech because she had exceeded the three minutes she had been allocated. She responded: ”If I’m not allowed to speak now, I will resign right away. I will come and give my resignation right now.”

Kurien then tried to pacify her, explaining that she could only call for a discussion after submitting a Notice under Rule 267, which is a request for an adjournment of proceedings to address an issue. He said she could not initiate such a discussion by merely making a speech.

”Then, a discussion can begin only after the chair, on the advice of the government, accepts the notice and agrees for a discussion,” Kurien said.  Mayawati responded: ” If I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities against Dalits, I have no moral right to be in the House.”

She then left the House in protest.