The first working day of the Rajya Sabha wasn't too productive, with members of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party refusing to let the house function. BSP chief Mayawati brought up the issue of Rohith Vemula's suicide at the start of the session, which then prevailed for the rest of the day with BSP members storming the well of the house raising slogans and demanding Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani's resignation.
The exchange in the video above took place at the start of the session. Mayawati, who was questioning the government on the non-inclusion of a Dalit member in a committee probing Vemula's death, accused the government of trying to sideline his issue.
Irani responded to Mayawati saying she had answers for all of Mayawati's questions and that if her answers weren't satisfactory, she said, "I'll chop my head off and lay it at your feet."
Then, in the Lok Sabha, Irani gave an emotional speech on the issue of Vemula's suicide, declaring, "My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to tell me my caste."
Responding to the letter she wrote to Bandaru Dattatreya she said, "I did my job and I will not apologise. Communications received from MPs should be attended to promptly."
In a fifty-minute speech, a tearful and angry Irani responded to the issues of Vemula's suicide, the JNU protests, and the Congress's education policy. Reading out excerpts from textbooks for Class IV and VI, commissioned by the Congress, she said children are being taught lessons on hatred.
Congress MPs staged a walkout during her speech.