Rajat Sharma

Why Did Mayawati Resign from Rajya Sabha?

18th July Aaj Ki Baat Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Tuesday tendered her resignation from Rajya Sabha saying she was not allowed to speak on Dalit issues. The question now arises: did she resign in a huff or was it part of a well-planned strategy? I think there are two main reasons: first, after BJP nominated a UP Dalit Ramnath Kovind for the post of President, Mayawati refused to support his candidature. Naturally, Dalits were unhappy over this. Secondly, Mayawati’s Rajya Sabha term ends next year. There are hardly ten months left. Her party has no elected member in Lok Sabha, and has only 19 MLAs in the UP assembly. There is no chance of her being re-elected next year to Rajya Sabha. She possibly wants to now portray herself as a martyr for the cause of Dalits, and will go around saying she resigned from Rajya Sabha as she was not allowed to speak on Dalit issues.

Into this drama, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad has stepped in. He has offered a Rajya Sabha seat to her from Bihar. Lalu is single-mindedly focussed on challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and his eyes are on UP. He wants Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav to join hands with BSP, and because of this, Lalu is offering a favour to the BSP leader. The offer is not gratis – by obliging Mayawati, Lalu Prasad is eyeing her support base in Bihar, which accounts for nearly 3-4 per cent of total votes.

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