WITH BJP holding protests both inside and outside the state Assembly on the issues of law and order and rise in crime against women, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said it was doing so only to “hide its own shortcomings”. Amid the din, the government, meanwhile, managed to clear its supplementary budget of approximately Rs 25,000 crore.
Claiming that UP was yet to receive pending dues from the Centre, Akhilesh asked BJP leaders to rather ‘gherao’ the Parliament. He also took on the PM for claiming in his Independence Day speech that Nagla Fatela village in Hathras has received power, when it was later proved otherwise.
As BJP leaders trooped into the well of the House with banners, raising anti-government slogans and even demanding the dismissal of the Akhilesh government, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey reminded them of the action taken against protesting legislators in Gujarat Assembly recently. On August 23, at least 50 Congress MLAs were suspended and marshalled out of the Gujarat Assembly after they disrupted House proceedings over the flogging of Dalits by gau rakshaks.
Following this, Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Azam Khan described BJP leaders “cowards, weak and worthless” and even questioned their decency. In turn, BJP MLAs, including Suresh Rana and Sangeet Som, raised slogans such as ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
Amid the slogan shouting, Opposition leader and BSP MLA Gaya Charan Dinkar questioned the relevance of the government presenting a supplementary budget when a large part of the main Budget had not been spent. He explained how significant departments like education and agriculture had spent less than 10 per cent of their annual budget allocation so far.
Replying to Dinkar, Akhilesh described BSP as ‘Vikas Virodhi’. “This means that they are also against development projects like the Poorvanchal Expressway and Lohia Awas, for which allocations have been made in the supplementary budget,” he said.
Akhilesh claimed he had to present a supplementary budget because the “Centre had failed to provide funds to help farmers affected with hail-storm in the state”. “BJP has nothing to do with development… People would give them an apt reply,” he said.
Claiming that he was ready for a debate, Akhilesh — pointing towards BJP leaders — said they should rather be concerned about the poor condition of national highways and ensure funds for village roads at least.
Even as BJP leaders raised issue of security of women in UP, Azam Khan claimed the figures were fake.
Amid sloganeering by BJP MLAs, the Question Hour could not be held. The House was adjourned for the day with the next sitting scheduled for August 29.