UP Budget session off to rough start, Governor’s address drowned in din

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: February 14, 2020 4:01:00 am

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Opposition MLAs protest during the Governor’s address in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

The Budget session of Uttar Pradesh Assembly began on a stormy note on Thursday, with Opposition MLAs entering the Well of the House and protesting against the state government during the Governor’s address.

The MLAs raised slogans and waved placards over arrests in connection with anti-CAA protests, the state’s law and order situation and farmers’ issues.

However, despite the din, Governor Anandiben Patel continued to speak.

Patel said the government’s priority was “all-round development to realise the concept of Ramrajya”. “Giving top priority to law and order…the government has created an atmosphere which is crime-free, fear-free, injustice-free. During the tenure of (this) government, mutual amity has prevailed between members of different communities,” she said.

As the Governor spoke about the state government’s achievements, including the recently held DefExpo, upcoming expressway projects and how UP has taken the lead in implementation of central schemes, MLAs from the SP, BSP and the Congress raised slogans.

In her hour-long speech, the Governor said that under the BJP government, the state had achieved many firsts, including “becoming the first in the country to pay a record sugarcane price of more than Rs 86,700 crore, getting first place under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna by providing LPG connections to over 1.47 crore families, among others”.

She said the state government’s top priority is law and order and it has a zero-tolerance policy towards crime. She said “incidents of rape have decreased by about 35.06 per cent in last one year as compared to 2017”.

Referring to a recent hostage incident in Farrukhabad, the Governor said that by securing the release of 23 children through “sensitive and brave planning”, the government has presented an example of its commitment on this count. She also mentioned the government’s steps towards ensuring the prosecution of criminals and the introduction of the commissioner system of policing in Lucknow and Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida).

Among the other achievements of the government, she mentioned the Ganga Yatra by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and various tourism circuits being developed in the state. After the speech, the House was adjourned for the day.

Earlier in the day, SP and Congress MLAs protested outside the Assembly against the law and order situation in the state, the steep hike in the price of LPG cylinders and delay in payment of arrears to sugarcane farmers.

“Women in different districts who are peacefully protesting and raising the slogan of “Samvidhan Bachao, Loktantra Bachao” with our national flags are being lathicharged. The protest sites are being filled with water. Women are being disrespected. We want to draw the attention of the government towards these issues, including unemployment, farmers’ dues, law and order,” said SP leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Ram Govind Chaudhary.

“We will raise these issues from sadan (Assembly) to sadak (streets) to awaken the anti-constitutional and dictatorial BJP government. If the government does not answer in Assembly, we will protest on the streets,” he added.

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