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Dec 12, 2012 at 11:46pm IST

Mayawati takes on govt on SC/ST quota bill, attacks Ansari over RS disruptions

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Wednesday accused the government of not being serious about the quota promotion bill, warning it of dire circumstances, even as she lashed out at Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari for repeated adjournments of the House and his failure to ensure its smooth functioning.

However, the comments of the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister against the Rajya Sabha Chairman was expunged later on Wednesday. Also, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Ansari to convey distress the comments of the BSP chief.

Hitting out at the Vice President, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said, "In the past few days, I have been observing that the House gets adjourned at 12 noon everyday. It is the government and the Speaker's responsibility to put the House to order. If it doesn't do so, I have to take a tough stand."

Earlier on Wednesday, the BSP chief rushed to the Well of the House demanding that Ansari makes the government's stand clear on the quota bill. She also slammed Ansari accusing him of leaving the House daily by 12 noon and missing in action during the Question Hour. She also accused Ansari of avoiding clearing the government's stand on the quota bill.

"You are not seen here after 12 noon... What kind of House is this? You have to take decision that what has to be done for this (ensuring the functioning of the House)," the BSP chief said.

The BSP chief also slammed the government, saying, "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."

Mayawati's remarks left the House stunned. The Chairman told her that she was a senior leader and should allow the House to function. He said it was the responsibility of everyone to let the House function. But, BSP members were unrelenting.

"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.

This comes a day after Ansari lost his cool with the disgruntled Opposition MPs. On Tuesdar, after exhorting BJP MPs to sit down and let Question Hour proceed, a visibly furious Ansari got up and said that it would be pertinent to dispense with the Question Hour altogether or have it at another time of the day.

An irritated Ansari got up and left after speaking, leaving the Rajya Sabha stunned in his wake. This came as the Opposition MPs demanded an inquiry into the Walmart lobbying report and disrupted the House.

Reacting to the development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the government to take initiative for resolving the deadlock in the Rajya Sabha over the bill for providing quota for SCs and STs in government job promotion and allow its smooth functioning.

"We want the Rajya Sabha to run smoothly. Rajya Sabha is a place for debate so that one can convey his views in the House. Government has to take initiative to resolve the deadlock in the House," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said outside Parliament when asked about Mayawati's outburst in the Upper House.

He further said, "Both SP and BSP are supporters of the government. While one is extending direct support, another is giving it indirectly. There is a serious divide between two allies (SP and BSP) of the government. Let the Congress party manage it, we want Rajya Sabha to function."

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)