Mayawati stuns Rajya Sabha with onslaught on Ansari

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) BSP chief Mayawati stunned the Rajya Sabha Wednesday by telling chairman Hamid Ansari that running the house smoothly was his responsibility.

Mayawati, who spoke in between question hour to press for early passage of a bill providing reservation for Dalits and tribals in promotions, created a shock by her accusatory tone.

"You will go (away) at 12... (The) house should run. To ensure this is your responsibility. When it will be 12, then you will not be seen," she said.

The verbal onslaught came at around 11.30 a.m. when Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had just finished answering a query.

The BSP is unhappy over the delay in considering the bill that seeks to reserve a quota for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe government employees during promotions.

Ansari, who seemed taken aback, pleaded with Mayawati to let the question hour proceed.

"What are you doing. This is question hour," he said in an exasperated tone.

But Mayawati persisted with her demand that it should be decided first how the house will run at 12. "There is (tamasha) disruption at 12," she said.

This has been so for some days, she said.

She and other BSP members then advanced towards the chairman's podium, forcing Ansari to adjourn the house for half hour.

Members of the Congress and BJP appeared stunned by the choice of words by Mayawati but did not react.

The house has seen disruptions over the constitution amendment bill to provide reservations in promotions.

The Samajwadi Party is firmly opposed to the bill and has vowed to block it.

BSP members later forced an adjournment of the Rajya Sabha by raising slogans against the government. They also disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha.

Mayawati later defended her remarks and accused the government too of not being serious about passage of the bill.

She said both the government and "BJP and company" had assured that the bill on reservation in promotions would be taken up after the house debated foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

"The house is not able to run after 12. It is the responsibility of the government, it is the responsibility of the chair. Some way out should be found," Mayawati said.

Mayawati had Monday said her party would wait for two-three days to see the government's stance on the bill, "The party will take a tough stand (after that)," she had said.

Under rules and conventions, members are not allowed to cast aspertions on the chair.

The chairman presides over the question hour while zero hour and subsequent proceedings are generally conducted by the deputy chairman.