Lucknow,14 Feb(Tehelka Bureau): With an eye on the 2014 parliament elections Bahujan Samaj Party, the main opposition party in UP Assembly, today stormed the opening day of the budget session of the State Legislature. The BSP, seeking to position itself as the only challenger to the ruling Samajwadi Party in UP politics, brought the treasury benches to its toes, forcing the Speaker of the Assembly Mata Prasad Pandey to adjourn the house.
The opening day of the first session of the current year, which began with the customary joint address to the State Legislature by the Governor, was marred by ruckus created by the BSP members. As soon as the Governor BL Joshi arrived in the Assembly hall, the BSP members raising anti- government slogans, trooped in the well of the house, climbed the reporters table and threw paper balls at the Governor. The house was adjourned after a few minutes. The BJP had already announced to boycott the joint address by the Governor in protest against the tragedy at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad resulting in the death of 37 pilgrims.
As the House assembled for the Governor’s joint address, the BSP members raised slogans at the top of their voice and displayed banners against the deteriorating law and order situation, exploitation of the farmers and general failure of the Akhilesh Yadav government in the state. Members from Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Congress also joined the BSP in staging the protest.
As soon as the Governor started his address, the opposition members were on their feet and greeted him with ‘Vapas Jao’ (go back) slogan. They threw paper missiles at the chair and continued to raise anti-government slogans like ‘UP mein Jungle Raj hai’ and ‘ Akhilesh failure and derailment of development’. Repeated appeal by the Governor for maintaining calm in the house proved in vain.
The Governor could hardly speak for three minutes when he said he would end his address if the members did not want to listen. He immediately read out the last word ‘ Jai Hind’ and moved out of the house. State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan continued to lambast the opposition during the ruckus by saying that the previous government was full of ‘goons’ and was a ‘ corrupt government’. Later, the Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey adjourned the house.
The 92 page Governors address was poorly drafted and full of inaccuracies. The address mentioned that the state lagged development in the last five years which incidentally also included the 11 months tenure of the present Samajwadi Party government. The text also said that the present government was fulfilling the promises made during the last assembly elections whereas it was the Samajwadi Party which made the promises. In March 2012, the Samajwadi Party was voted to power by defeating the incumbent BSP government headed by Mayawati.
The address claimed the commissioning of the Sewage treatment plant (STP) at Lucknow, with 35 Million liters per day capacity, by the Samajwadi Party government. The STP, constructed with funding from the Center under Jawarlal Nehru Urban renewal mission (JNURM) is in fact operational for the last two years and it was inaugurated by the previous Chief Minister Mayawati, on January 15, 2011, on the occasion of her birthday. The address also claimed that the present government has started `Nivesh Mitra’ (Friend of the Investor) scheme in the state. This scheme was also introduced by the previous BSP government. The 92-page text of the Governor’s address narrated in detail almost all the departments of the state, and the government announcement during the past 11 months of the present SP regime.
The BSP, who in its over two decade long existence in the UP assembly, never created pandemonium in the house, today defended its action. The BSP has in fact no option but to declare an all out war against the SP government. As many as nine ministers of the previous BSP government including Swami Prasad Maurya, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly and Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Leader of Opposition in UP Legislative council, are under investigation by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the UP police and the Lokayukta, for various charges of corruption. For the same charges three ministers have already been arrested and are in jail.
Swami Prasad Maurya, the Leader of Opposition in the UP assembly said “ there was no point in allowing the Governor to read the address as it was in praise of the government which has just not performed during its 11 months tenure. BSP would continue to protest against the government inside the house till it comes out with a reasonable action plan for redressing the grievances of the people,’’ said Maurya. Demanding dismissal of the SP government for its failure, the BSP leader said that “the killing of innocent pilgrims in the Kumbh Mela, has exposed the inefficiency and incompetence of the SP government to govern the state’’.
The Budget session of the UP Legislature which commenced here today is expected to have a total of 26 sittings, as per the agenda approved by the Business advisory committee of the Assembly. The budget for the next fiscal 2013-14, is to be presented by the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who also holds the finance portfolio, on February 19.