In a shocking move, BSP chief Mayawati launched a direct attack on Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari on Wednesday for “remaining absent” from the House after 12 noon every day.
As an upset Ansari indicated it would be difficult for him to work in “such circumstances”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him up to convey his distress at what had transpired in the House.
The government is expected to move a resolution in the House on Thursday, apologising to the chairman for the incident. According to leaders of major political parties who met him, Ansari himself expressed his anguish in the presence of parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath and leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley soon after the House was adjourned for the day.
Mayawati took the House by surprise when she stood up in the middle of the question hour and asked Ansari why proceedings were being disrupted at noon everyday to prevent the taking up of the bill on quota in promotions.
“You are the chairman. It is your responsibility that the House remains in order. But you are not to be seen after 12 noon. What kind of a House is this?” she asked.
A shocked Ansari tried to pacify her saying running the House is everybody's responsibility and reminded Mayawati that she was a "very senior leader" and should allow the House to function.
The BSP chief, instead, stormed into the well of the House with her entire flock forcing Ansari to adjourn the House. Outside the House, she trained her guns on the UPA government, whom she had bailed out last week during the voting on FDI in retail.
She said the government did not appear to be serious in getting the bill passed, and the BSP will not tolerate this. But the UPA's other outside supporter, the Samajwadi Party, which is strongly opposed to the quota bill, said there was no question of allowing it to be passed.