Anger in House over diplomat's arrest: Maya says diplomat Dalit, insult worse

MayawatiMayawati blamed the central government for lack of clarity on what it proposes to do about the arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a Dalit woman, which has sparked a major row between the US and India.

BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday accused the government of being "anti-Dalit", saying it had been dragging its feet in the Devyani Khobragade matter only because she belonged to a Scheduled Caste.  

"Whatever has happened with a Dalit lady in the US, we cannot ignore it. But it has also unmasked the Centre's anti-Dalit mentality," Mayawati said outside Parliament.

"Had it been any other woman, the government would have taken some major action by now. But it has been many days since the incident happened and the government is yet to initiate any concrete step. What the government is doing is not clear yet. It seems the Centre is not serious on the issue. This is an important national issue," she said.

Speaking earlier in Parliament, Mayawati deplored the "humiliating and insulting" way in which Khobragade had been arrested and frisked, and said this was "a matter of great concern and government should take the issue very seriously".

There was outrage in both houses over the issue, and MPs cutting across party lines demanded strong retaliatory action by the government, and an apology from the US.

In Lok Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded that the House should pass a resolution condemning the US. He said his party colleague Azam Khan, union ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, former president A P J Abdul Kalam and former defence minister George Fernandes were among prominent Indians who had been humiliated earlier in that country.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj added that former Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar too had been insulted.

In Rajya Sabha, the entire opposition led by BJP was on its feet as soon as the house met for the day. Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley described Khobragade's arrest as a matter of "grave concern", said called for introspection on India's foreign policy.

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