Unruly scenes mar opening day of Uttar Pradesh assembly (Second lead, superseding earlier story)February 10th, 2009 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Feb 10 (IANS) Unsavoury scenes were witnessed in the Uttar Pradesh assembly Tuesday as opposition Samajwadi Party members heckled the governor and chucked paper balls at him accusing him of being an “agent” of the Mayawati government and demanding its dismissal.
The opening day of the budget session began on a stormy note as almost the entire opposition led by Samajwadi Party members rose up to flay the 20-month-old Mayawati government.
Barely had Governor T.V. Rajeshwar taken his seat to open the session, when the opposition members raised an uproar that continued unabated until the house was adjourned.
However, when proceedings resumed after some time the opposition members again resorted to loud protests, slogan-shouting and even flinging paper balls towards the governor’s podium, compelling Speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar to adjourn the house for the rest of the day.
While the opposition ire was directed against the Mayawati government, they soon trained their guns at Rajeshwar, whom they pointedly accused as “Mayawati’s agent”.
Fishing out cloth banners from their pockets with anti-government and anti-Mayawati slogans written on them, a number of Samajwadi Party MLAs displayed them in full view of the entire house.
“Bhrashtachar - Apradh ki khuli azaadi; UP ki ho rahi barbaadi (corruption - crime rule the roost; UP is going to the dogs)” - read one of the banners, while another said, “UP Kangaal; Mayawati Malamaal (UP is poor but Mayawati is loaded with money)”.
Amidst the din and cries of “dismiss Mayawati government”, Tuesday’s proceedings including the governor’s customary address were taken as “read” and “carried out”.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chose to boycott the day’s proceedings, Congress and other opposition parties too pitched in with the Samajwadi Party for a while, but no sooner had the belligerent SP members trained their guns at Governor T.V. Rajeshwar, then the Congress preferred to turn silent spectators.
Rajeshwar was compelled to abandon his address and leave the house, which was adjourned within minutes of the opening.
Though such a spectacle is not unprecedented in the assembly, the unusually charged atmosphere was attributed by many to a build up ahead of the parliamentary elections.
Talking to mediapersons after stepping out of the house, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is also Leader of Opposition lashed out at the governor.
“This governor is a BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) agent,” charged Mulayam Singh, adding, “when I was the chief minister this very governor used to shoot off letters running down my government, but he has been turning a blind eye to glaring misdoings of the Mayawati government.”
He sought to know “why the governor had not cared to even visit Auraiya after the brutal murder of PWD engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta at the hands of ruling party MLA Shekhar Tiwari, who was openly indulging in extortion to fill Mayawati’s private coffers.”
Commenting on the governor’s “softness” towards the Mayawati government, the Samajwadi Party president remarked: “I would not be surprised if this was on account of a secret understanding between the Congress and the BSP for a post-poll alignment.”
Speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar termed the uproar as a “bad precedent” and felt “the behaviour of the MLAs was in utter violation of the decorum of the house and a slur on established parliamentary practices.”