A day after Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, Aditi Singh, defied her party to attend the special 36-hour session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, rebel Samajwadi Party MLA Shivpal Yadav and BSP MLA Aslam Raini attended the House and praised the BJP government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Raini said that he decided to attend the special session after “hearing” his “antaraatma (inner voice)” and that was his personal decision. Shivpal, who has formed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) but continues to be an SP MLA, meanwhile, showered praises on Adityanath, calling him “the honest Chief Minister”.
“I have come to the House today to raise the issues of people of my district, and I hope that you would listen,” Raini, who represents Shravasti constituency, told the Assembly and then went on to point out the poor condition of roads in his district and also in front of his house. He, however, did not blame the Chief Minister, but called it an “administrative failure”.
While Raini said that his loyalties are still with BSP, but to everyone’s surprise, he said that the ruling BJP has gone far ahead than the BSP in terms of cadres and organisation. “I have been with BSP since 2002 and people used to praise BSP for its organisation, but today the BJP has gone far ahead,” said Raini. Targeting his own party chief Mayawati, he said that leaders like him feel neglected in the BSP. “Our leader does not think it is right to consult even 18 leaders,” he said, referring to the number of BSP MLAs.
“EVM does not win elections. Whosoever works would win the election instead. My belief is in the BSP and would remain so but we have lost path today,” Raini said. Notably, BSP chief Mayawati had accused the BJP government of “manipulating EVMs” after the party candidate came a distant third in the Hamirpur Assembly bypolls last week.
He praised Chief Minister Adityanath for “strict” law and order and said that it was either during Mayawati government or during the regime of Adityanath that such a “control over law and order has been exercised”. However, he also asked Adityanath to “show a big heart” and withdraw cases against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. He also praised the Chief Minister for providing funds for the marriage of girls, many, he said, came from Muslim families.
Shivpal, who also surprised many by attending the session, also went on to praise CM Adityanath, though adding that it was administrative officers and police officers, who were failing him. While he praised Adityanath for the investors’ summit, and the Centre’s Ujwala Yojana (LPG connection scheme), construction of toilets, he also gave his advice towards making these schemes better.
“The leadership of this state is in the hands of an honest chief minister, who respects public sentiments. But those sitting in police and administration do not understand public sentiments and do not even listen to the elected representatives,” said Shivpal.
However, he drew objections from the treasury benches, when he alleged that corruption was rampant at tehsil level. BJP MLAs said that it was the habit developed during the previous regime, of which even Shivpal was part. Shivpal then retorted: “Pehli jaisi aadat bani rehegi to tum log bhi hatt jaoge, dusare log aayenge, hum sujhav de rahe hain (If habits of the past would remain, then you would also be replaced and other would come, I was just giving a suggestion).”
On late Wednesday evening, Congress MLA Aditi Singh went against the party’s decision and attended the session. Aditi, who praised CM Adityanath for development of “colonies” in villages of her Rae Bareli constituency, said she decided to attend the session to highlight the issue of sustainable development and to ensure that the voice of the people of her region was heard.
The Assembly session, which was underway without any break since 11 am on Wednesday, has been boycotted by all the Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress, RLD and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, saying that the BJP government is more interested in setting records instead of solving peoples’ issues.
Adityanath was present in the Assembly till 2 am on Thursday morning and came back around 11 am. Nearly 100 BJP members were in the House overnight as part of the special session, which has been organised to mark the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
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