What BSP chief Mayawati’s threat  to quit Rajya Sabha means | In 5 points
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What BSP chief Mayawati’s threat to quit Rajya Sabha means | In 5 points

Mayawati walked out of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, saying she was not allowed to speak on ‘atrocities’ against Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2017 18:04 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mayawati‬,‪Rajya Sabha‬,‪Bahujan Samaj Party‬
A TV grab of BSP chief Mayawati walking out of the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday stormed out of the Rajya Sabha and threatened to resign if she was not allowed to speak in the House on alleged atrocities against the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister accused Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien of not giving her a chance to speak.

The BSP chief, who has suffered back-to-back defeats in the state elections, the recent one was in March, is struggling to hold on to her Dalit support base.

Senior colleagues have left the party, accusing her of corruption and nepotism.

So, is her threat to quit real? What happens if she makes good on the threat? Five points to chew on:

1. If Mayawati resigns, the BSP and the Opposition will lose an MP and it will be BJP’s gain. The BSP leader is from Uttar Pradesh where the BJP enjoys a brute majority in the assembly. As Rajya Sabha members are elected by MLAs, it will be cakewalk for the BJP, which is short of majority in the Upper House.

2. With her term set to end in April 2018, Mayawati or the BSP doesn’t have much to lose. Her party has just 19 MLAs in the 403-member UP assembly. The chances of the BSP winning a Rajya Sabha seat in the biennial poll in April are bleak.

3. If she is determined to quit, the 61-year-old Dalit leader would have to send her resignation letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari.

4. But, she can’t attribute motives in her resignation letter even though she is angry over “not being allowed to speak in House”. She will have to sign a proforma and if she deviates from it, by airing her grouse, the letter would be rejected.

5. If she does carry out her threat, she can go back to her support base and score a political point by projecting herself as a champion of Dalit cause. Many opposition parties have backed her accusation that atrocities were being committed against Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP is in power.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 13:23 IST