UP Assembly Budget session: Opposition boycotts Governor’s address

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Lucknow Feb 18 (PTI) Opposition parties raised slogans and staged a walkout during the Governor’s address in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on the first day of the Budget session on Thursday, opposing the Centre’s three agriculture laws.

Governor Anandiben Patel reached the assembly five minutes late, prompting the Leader of Opposition Ram Gobind Chaudhary to allege that she did not want to address the House due to the “atrocities” committed against the women in the state.

“Seeing the atrocities committed against the women in the state, the Governor did not want to read her address. The Chief Minister and the Speaker convinced her. Then after seven-eight minutes, she completed her quorum,” Chaudhary told reporters outside the assembly without substantiating his claim.

Chaudhary, who is the Samajwadi Party MLA, said his party first opposed the Governor's address when it began about five minutes late than the scheduled time and later boycotted it.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna said the Opposition’s behaviour during the Governor's address was “irresponsible”.

“The Governor's address is a reflection of the government's policies. The manner in which the Opposition parties behaved in the house during the address is irresponsible and condemnable,” Khanna said.

Chaudhary demanded the resignation of the government, alleging “jungle raj” in the state.

“There is no law and order, inflation is at an all-time high, atrocities against women are continuing and there is jungle raj. Even the Supreme Court and the high court have said there is nothing in the name of law and order in the state,” he alleged.

Chaudhary also asked why media persons were not allowed to enter the assembly, citing COVID-19 protocol.

“Why is the press seen so far from the Assembly? Is the COVID-19 only for journalists? Does it not infect MLAs, MLCs, CM, Speaker and Leader of Opposition? We condemn this.” He said the Governor’s address did not mention the deaths of farmers who have died during the course of the peasants’ agitation on Delhi’s borders.

“We raised the slogan Governor Go Back. This is because over 200 farmers have died during the protest, and tributes should have been paid to them, which was not in your (Governor’s) address. Our party opposed it for five minutes and then we left the House,” Chaudhary told reporters.

BSP leader Lalji Verma said he has seen it for the first time that the governor arrived late for the assembly address.

Another party MLA Vinay Shankar Tiwari said people have lost faith in the government.

“No one is talking about the issues affecting the farmer as well as on MSP. The law and order in the state is poor,” he said.

Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Aradhana Misra said, “The government should have expressed sympathy towards more than 200 farmers who have died during the protest. Most of the farmers who died are from UP.” “We opposed the three black farm laws. If the Governor's address can start after five minutes (than the scheduled time), it shows the seriousness of the government on issues pertaining to the state,” she said.

Misra also demanded a judicial inquiry into the Unnao incident, where two Dalit girls were found dead in a field. PTI NAV SAB AQS AQS