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Mayawati salvo at Ansari stuns RS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 12
A day after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari voiced anguish over members’ tendency to unnecessarily disrupt proceedings of the House, BSP chief Mayawati today stunned everyone in the House by making objectionable remarks against the person holding the office of Vice-President of the country.

While Mayawati’s strong remarks were later expunged from the Parliamentary records, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up the Vice-President to convey “distress” over the ugly incident inside the House.

Just midway through the Question Hour, which appeared to be progressing smoothly (a rarity in these days of frequent Parliament disruptions), a visibly incensed Mayawati intervened and launched a direct offensive against the Vice-President.

If her behaviour, hitherto never witnessed in the Upper House, stunned the members, Mayawati later promised that the worst was yet to come if her demand for the quota Bill went unheeded.

Accusing the UPA of not being serious on the passage of a Constitutional amendment to allow reservation in promotions for SC/STs, she said her criticism of Ansari was the “tough first step” to alert the government.

“I had said two days ago that the BSP would adopt a tough stand. It is the responsibility of the government and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to bring the House in order... Today’s (outburst) was our first tough stand in the Rajya Sabha. We will take our next stand at an appropriate time,” she said outside the House.

Mayawati’s message was loud and clear that she wanted her pound of flesh for bailing the UPA out of a tricky anti-FDI situation in the Rajya Sabha.

However, with the BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota Bill and the Samajwadi Party vehemently opposing it, the government is in a bind.

The UPA needs the support of both rival parties in Uttar Pradesh to ensure the passage of crucial Bills in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in minority.

The Congress remained guarded in its response. Party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary termed the incident “regrettable”.

Aware of the party’s precarious minority status in the House, she said the issue of reservation to SC/STs in promotions impacted one of the largest states in the country and the parties concerned should have the opportunity to say what they wanted.

Though the government has been doing its bit, listing the Bill every day in the Rajya Sabha agenda, there is very little it can do except watch helplessly.

The SP has stated that it will continue to stall proceedings in the Rajya Sabha even if its members are suspended.

Vice-Prez upset

Pained by Mayawati’s critical remarks against him, Ansari today said it would be difficult for him to work in such circumstances. "I am upset. It will be difficult to work in such a situation," he said, according to leaders of political parties present at a meeting with him. The remarks came in the presence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and several other Opposition leaders soon after the Upper House was adjourned for the day.





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