Mikes fly in Uttar Pradesh assembly over engineer’s murder (Lead)

February 10th, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyLucknow, Feb 10 (IANS) The budget session of the Uttar Pradesh assembly got off to a raucous start Tuesday with opposition Samajwadi Party legislators throwing paper missiles and hurling mikes while Governor T.V. Rajeswar watched helplessly from his podium with his marshals trying to fend the blows.

As the house descended into unseemly chaos, the governor had to abandon his address to the house and Speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar was forced to adjourn the session.

The Samajwadi Party was protesting the Dec 24 murder of Public Works Department (PWD) engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta in Auraiya district, 150 km from here, allegedly at the behest of a ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator.

They were joined by members of other parties, including the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, who shouted slogans and displayed banners outside the assembly.

The legislators held aloft black pieces of cloth and threw files in protest against the murder while alleging that the law and order situation in the state was in disarray.

Gupta, 54, was allegedly killed at the behest of BSP legislator Shekhar Tiwari in December when the former reportedly refused to cough up Rs.5 million for Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday celebrations on Jan 15.

Tiwari was later arrested under pressure from the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, who alleged that BSP lawmakers used to extort money from the government machinery for Mayawati’s birthday, celebrated as ‘aarthik sahayog diwas (financial support day)’.

Speaking in the assembly before the ruckus broke out, Samajwadi Party leader and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav asserted: “This government and the chief minister have done nothing for the state except committing atrocities on its people.”

He alleged that the government was reluctant to arrest the BSP MLA responsible for the murder of an executive engineer but had to do so under pressure.

“Law and order is in a pathetic state, corruption is rampant and development has taken a back seat during the last two years of Mayawati’s rule,” Mulayam Singh said.

Outside the house, the Congress leaders in Lucknow and in the national capital expressed “sadness” over the ruckus in the assembly, but blamed the Mayawati government for pushing the state in this situation.

Former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said: “It is sad and unfortunate that this has occurred.” But he said the anger of the people against the government could not be overlooked.

Similarly, state Congress president Rita Bahuguna-Joshi claimed that she had not seen what happened in the assembly but “I hold the Mayawati government responsible for the deteriorating law and order”.

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