Mayawati quits Rajya Sabha

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati has resigned from the Rajya Sabha membership on Tuesday, accusing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being prevented from raising the issue of atrocities against Dalits. "I will come back and give my resignation", she said and walked out of the House. "And as a representative, when I'm not being allowed to speak for them, I have no choice but to resign".

Ms Mayawati had made an unseemly virtue of going it alone, and shunning alliances, thinking such a strategy would always help her consolidate larger sections of public support.

"I have not finished my speech".

"This is the reason I have chose to quit from the Rajya Sabha. If I can not speak for the rights of the Dalits, then I have no right to continue as a member of the Rajya Sabha", the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Dalit leader said. Candidates to the Upper House are elected by state assemblies. If she follows through with the resignation procedures (for starters, she'll have to file another motive for resignation and sign a proforma), she could be scoring a heavy political point. His resignation was accepted only after he submitted a new resignation letter which simply stated that he wants to step down as member of the house and his resignation should be accepted. While members of Congress and other opposition parties stood by Behenji as she walked out, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called it an after effect of her defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

"I was speaking about the atrocities against Dalits, since I belong to that community".

The awardees were selected by a jury, headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil.

Kurien said that it was not just his urging but the "sentiment of the entire house". But leave it to Mayawati to cement Dalit support in Uttar Pradesh (where BJP is now in power) and make a powerful political move at the same time - all of this, thoroughly impromptu. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate for massacre of minorities and Dalits. She said BSP leaders were not even allowed to visit the affected families. Although the ruling party leaders have termed it a political ploy yet she has taken a rock-solid pronouncement.