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Friday, September 17, 2021

Monsoon Session Begins Day 1: SP, Cong protest inside & outside House

From fuel prices and law & order to Covid 'mismanagement', Oppn keeps up the pressure on govt.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
August 18, 2021 6:20:31 am
Congress legislators arrive on a rickshaw in Lucknow on Tuesday. (Photo: Vishal Srivastav)

While the first day of the monsoon session of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Tuesday saw little business with the House being adjourned soon after paying tribute to six sitting MLAs who passed away recently, there were protests outside with the Opposition parties – Samajwadi Party and the Congress – adopting innovative ideas to counter the government on several fronts – from price rise to joblessness and Covid management.

Raising slogans like “bahut hui mengai ki maar, nahi chahiye Bhajapa sarkar”, Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators led by Rajendra Yadav reached the Assembly on a bullock cart to protest against rising fuel prices in the country.

The four Congress legislators, including CLP leader Aradhana Mishra and state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, protested against rising fuel prices by arriving on rickshaws. “There is a rise in prices of everything, from petrol and diesel to daily household needs. Also, there is a jungle raj in Uttar Pradesh with no law and order. Therefore, we are protesting against the BJP government,” senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ahmad Hassan said.

A group of SP legislators also reached Vidhan Sabha holding mirrors, and said that they wanted to “show the mirror to the BJP government, which has failed to fulfil its promise”.

“The issues with which this government had come to power, they have not fulfilled them,” Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary said as his party legislators shouted slogans for the repeal of the three farms laws brought by the BJP government at the Centre.

Ahead of the session, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told mediapersons that he welcomed all the members to raise the issue of public and to participate in the discussion in a democratic way. He said his government was ready for a discussion on all issues related to public interest, development, youth, women and villages. “There should be a discussion on Covid control. Uttar Pradesh is the first state to have tested seven crore samples. It has become the first state to administer six crore vaccine doses. If all the members support, those spreading rumours will be exposed,” the CM said.

In a series of tweets, he said, “UP Legislature is the biggest in the country. Whatever we do here, sends a message to the entire country.”

Inside the Vidhan Bhavan premises, SP members staged a dharna against the BJP government over its “mismanagement” of the Covid-19 situation. Wearing oxygen masks and carrying placards, Samajwadi Party MLAs and MLCs also raised slogans against the government.

They alleged a scam in the use of MLA funds for Covid welfare and demanded a thorough inquiry. They alleged that their local area development funds were deducted for the purchase of medical equipment during the pandemic, but there was a misappropriation of Rs 806 crore.

As soon as the House met, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath read out obituary references and after paying condolences, Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit adjourned the House for the day.

The six sitting members who died recently are Vijay Kumar Kashyap (Muzaffarnagar), Suresh Kumar Srivastava (Lucknow), Ramesh Chandra Diwakar (Auraiya), Kesar Singh (Bareilly), Dal Bahadur (Rae Bareli) and Devendra Pratap Singh, Amapur (Kasganj). The House also observed silence before being adjourned for the day.

In the UP Legislative Council, the Question Hour was disrupted amid protests by members of the Samajwadi Party over the law and order situation in the state. The House had to be adjourned twice, for 30 minutes each, during the 60-minute Question Hour.

As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, SP member Naresh Uttam raised the issue of rape cases in the state. Chairman Kunwar Manvendra Singh said the matter will be heard in the Zero Hour and not in the Question Hour. But, SP members continued to raise the issue and came into the well of the House with placards and banners against the government. The Chairman adjourned the proceedings of the House for 30 minutes.

When the House reassembled, the opposition members once again came into the well, prompting the Chairman to adjourn the proceedings for another 30 minutes.

Later, the SP legislators sat on a dharna at the Chowdhury Charan Singh statue in the Assembly premises and claimed that people were fed up with the government due to price rise and crimes against women. SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap said, “We are protesting against the government that is anti-people. Unemployment, woes of farmers, women’s security, price rise, corruption and mismanagement of the Covid situation are some of the issues that we are raising.”

—With PTI INPUTS

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