New Delhi: Trying to extract her price in return for support on FDI, Mayawati on Wednesday stepped up pressure for passage of the quota bill for SCs and STs when she unleashed a fusillade on Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and the government, threatening to be more "tough". (Agencies)
She first stunned Rajya Sabha when she criticised Ansari, who is also the country's Vice President, questioning his "absence" after Question Hour and not not being present in the post-noon proceedings to bring order to House.
Upset over the fact that lack of order prevented passage of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill that provides for reservation for SCs/STs in government job promotions, she rushed to the House during the Question Hour and attacked the Chairman without notice.
"We have seen in the last few days that every day the House is not allowed to function after 12 PM. You are Chairman of the House. It is your responsibility to ensure that it functions," she said addressing Ansari.
A visibly stunned Chairman tried to pacify her but she was unrelenting as she said, "I am not ready to listen to anything...Who will ensure that the House functions?"
She insisted that the House should run in order. "You are not seen here after 12 PM... What kind of House is this?"
Government is in a bind with BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota bill and the Samajwadi Party vehemently opposing it.
The BSP supremo's outburst came on a day when both Houses were again unable to conduct any significant business due to disruptions.
Rajya Sabha could not function because of uproar over the quota Bill providing for reservation to SCs/STs in government job promotions while Lok Sabha was paralysed by BSP members by demanding details about coal block allocations which have been shrouded by allegations of irregularities.
Ansari told the BSP chief that it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure smooth functioning of the House.
"You are a senior leader...the House is run with the cooperation with everyone. The House is running right now. You please allow the House to run," he told Mayawati.
She shot back, "I am not not ready to listen to anything. You are the Chairman. After 12 noon you go away. Then whose responsibility is it to run the government.
As she did not relent and her party colleagues shouted slogans against the government like 'dalit virodhi ye sarkar nahi chalegi' (anti-dalit government is not acceptable).
Ansari then adjourned the House till noon. Similar scenes later forced one more adjournment and finally for the day.
Rules do not permit a member to question the Chair on any issue, more so on his presence or absence.
Later, Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament that her outburst in Parliament was the "first step" of her tough stance that she is going to adopt as she accused government of not seeming to be serious about passage of the bill.
"I had said two days ago that 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 Rajya Sabha. We will take our next stand at an appropriate time," Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament House.
"If the government is actually serious about the passage of the bill and other public interest legislations, then the government as well as the Chairman should see that the House should function in order," she said.
The BSP Chief said that she has been observing for a few days that the proceedings in Rajya Sabha have been disrupted after 12 noon.
Ansari was yesterday anguished over repeated disruptions and went to the extent of suggesting that the Question Hour be either scrapped or shifted to some later part of the day.
Mayawati's detractor and arch rival in Uttar Pradesh Mulayam Singh Yadav took potshots at her saying Parliament is run always on respect to the Chair.
BJP disapproved of Mayawati's attack on Rajya Sabha Chairman. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We don't approve of it."
He said if there was serious divide between its two allies, the Congress and the government should manage it.
However, the government said it was hopeful of finding a solution to run Parliament smoothly.
"We will find a solution.... we are slowly moving ahead," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters here.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Ansari was known for his respect and personal warmth he showed in dealing with others. "You can't find fault with the way he runs the House," he said adding if anyone has any complaint they could go to the Chairman's chamber and take it up with him.
New Delhi: Trying to extract her price in return for support on FDI, Mayawati on Wednesday stepped up pressure for passage of the quota bill for SCs and STs when she unleashed a fusillade on Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and the government, threatening to be more "tough".