Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati today quit from Rajya Sabha, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of gagging her.
Her resignation was set to be rejected since it didn't conform to the prescribed format, but it helped fuel talk of a 'grand alliance' across Bihar and Uttar Pradesh when Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad told her that his party would send her to Rajya Sabha from Bihar.
In Patna, there were indications of a temporary truce. RJD chief's son and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav today evening went to meet Kumar after a cabinet meeting. Kumar's Janata Dal (United) has demanded a detailed reply on the corruption charges against Yadav in a CBI first information report.
Sources said not just Congress leaders, but JD (U)'s Sharad Yadav has spoken to Prasad to advise him to show more flexibility on the issue in the interest of saving the 'grand alliance' in Bihar. Opposition leaders have also conveyed to Kumar their unhappiness with his recent conduct that can only help Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019. But Opposition leaders are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the truce would last.
However, today's episode in Rajya Sabha could disrupt house proceedings for the next couple of days. It, however, brought most of the Opposition, particularly Samajwadi Party, in Mayawati's support.
The Opposition didn't allow proceedings in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as it wanted to raise issues of atrocities against dalits, cow vigilantism and agrarian distress. In Rajya Sabha, the BSP chief complained she wasn't allowed to speak on the atrocities on dalits by BJP members and threatened to quit.
Her party BSP had performed miserably in the UP assembly polls, winning a measly 19 of the 403-seats with large sections of dalits supporting BJP. By evening, Mayawati sent her resignation to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. However, the letter is likely to be rejected as she went into details of today's proceedings.
Prasad has advocated a 'grand alliance' in UP on the lines of Bihar. He has appealed to Congress, SP and BSP to come together in UP. Prasad is to host a public rally in Patna on August 27.