The first session of the newly elected Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly began on a stormy note on Monday, with the Opposition protesting, shouting slogans, throwing paper balls at the Governor and blowing whistles throughout his speech. The proceedings were being aired on television for the first time, so the pandemonium during the first session since the Yogi Adityanath government took over was telecast live.
As soon as Governor Ram Naik began his address, SP, BSP and Congress leaders trooped into the well of the House, chanting slogans against the law and order situation. Naik warned the legislators, “The whole of Uttar Pradesh is watching what you are doing.” However, the members continued protesting. They were holding placards that read: “Gau-raksha ke naam pe goondagardi bandh karo”, “Police pit rahi thane mein, Yogi tere zamane mein”, “rajyapal ki aankhein kholo, apradh badh raha kuch to bolo”.
The SP members seemed to be the most aggressive. Sporting red caps, they started throwing paper balls at Naik, who continued reading his address amid the uproar. While SP MLAs like Irfan Solanki and Nafees Ahmed were busy throwing paper balls, SP MLC Rajesh Yadav continued to whistle throughout the Governor’s address. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was in the Well with the protesting members, though his uncle Shivpal Yadav stayed at his seat.
Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit repeatedly requested the legislators to maintain decorum even as Opposition leaders tried to climb up the podium.
After the House was briefly adjourned till 12.30 pm, Congress legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu told the media, “Women feel insecure under the present regime. There is no law and order. Despite promises during election rallies, the state BJP government is giving only partial loan waiver to farmers. We raised all these issues in a democratic manner. We did not throw paper balls or blow the whistle.”
BSP leader in the House Lalji Verma told reporters, “Jungle raj is prevailing. There is communal violence, Dalits and backward communities are being suppressed. So we decided to raise our voice.” He maintained that his party legislators neither threw paper balls nor blew the whistle.
After the House reassembled at 12.30 pm, the GST Bill was tabled by Adityanath. Later in the day, a workshop on GST was organised for legislators.
Speaking to The Indian Express later, Naik said, “The Governor’s address has significance, particularly after Assembly elections. But there was no change in the tradition of disturbing the Governor’s speech. I had to do my duty despite physical obstructions.”