In an act of desperation, Mayawati quit her seat in the Rajya Sabha. The controvertible point was how, when and on which issue. She eventually made her move at the first opportune moment, symbolically a day after the presidential poll when she showed satisfaction that regardless of the victor, a Dalit would be elected President for the second time.
As soon as the House met Tuesday, Mayawati raised the issue of caste violence in Saharanpur. Deputy chairman P J Kurien permitted her to speak, but only for three minutes. The BSP has just six members in the Rajya Sabha. So she was given five minutes (initially three but extended to five). But she turned it into a prestige issue.
"With the objective of not letting me speak on such an important issue (of atrocities on Dalits), Ministers obstructed the proceedings in the house," the former UP CM said in a statement later.
Mayawati also added that the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman "instead of asking ruling party's MPs to remain quiet, ringed the bell, and asked me to sit."
With the party suffering dismal losses in 2012 and 2014, this might be a tactical move to reclaim lost ground by doing some field work. Her term was in any case due to end in April 2018.