A day after he made a mockery of the usually dignified proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party MP Kamal Akhtar is unrepentant.
He said he would rather resign than apologise.
Akhtar, who started out as a student leader in Jamia Millia Islamia, began his drama on Monday by storming to the Chairman's podium. He tore up copies of the women’s reservation bill and flung them at Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.
His unbecoming conduct got worse on Tuesday when he smashed a glass in the House.
“I would have stabbed myself in the stomach or the arm with the broken glass. I was ready to die. There is no point in staying on in Parliament. Why stay in Parliament if we don't have a voice. You are killing Muslim politics.”
He admitted that people had been telling him he behaved badly, but insisted, “I was fighting for the people I represent, for the women of India. I’m not against women (I have a daughter of my own), I’m not against reservation.... certainly not women’s reservation. I was fighting to raise awareness of the problems that not reserving seats for women from minority communities will pose. I will certainly not apologise for it. If necessary I can resign from the Rajya Sabha.”
He added,“Hamid Ansari is supposed to be the custodian and guardian of our rights (in the Upper House). Woh hamaare sanraksak hain, abhibhavak hain. Par woh sirf sarkaar ke aadesh par chal rahen hain, Congress ke aadesh pe chal rahen hain ((He is our protector and guardian. But he’s only acting on the government’s directives, he is a Congress stooge).”