SP protests against Centre's farm laws outside UP Assembly

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Lucknow, Feb 18 (PTI) Samajwadi Party legislators on Thursday staged a protest outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly building against the Centre’s farm before the beginning of the state's Budget session.

Raising slogans against the government and in favour of farmers, the SP legislators sat before a statue of former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh and demanded that the three laws be repealed.

They also carried banners and placards criticising the state government for the alleged rise in crime against women, hike in LPG, petrol and diesel prices and pending sugar cane dues of farmers.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the government of arresting a party legislator, a charge denied by the police.

In a Hindi tweet, Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP governments in the Centre and the state are afraid of the public support to the farmers' protest.

“Hence, an MLA and workers going on a tractor to the Vidhan Sabha to attend the session were arrested,” he said condemning it.

When contacted, Lucknow's Commissioner of Police DK Thakur said, 'No MLA was arrested. This is a lie.' Earlier, some legislators arrived on a tractor carrying the party flag, sugarcane and a sack with “dhaan” (paddy) written on it as a mark of protest but were stopped by policemen.

'These things are symbols of agriculture. Cane prices have not been increased but the prices of diesel and petrol have been hiked several times,' said a legislator when asked why he had come to the Vidhan Sabha on a tractor.

Udayveer Singh, a member of the legislative council, said issues are discussed inside the House while action is shown on the roads.

'The tractor is a symbol of the country's prosperity. The green revolution and increase in income of farmers happened because of tractors. To give the message that the SP is with farmers and will fight for them, we decided to come to the Vidhan Sabha on a vehicle that is identified with farming,' he said.

In a series of tweets, the opposition party slammed the Yogi Adityanath government for 'betraying' farmers and failing to check inflation.

'Demonstration by SP MLAs outside the Vidhan Bhawan to raise the voice of people suffering due to inflation, unemployment and betrayal with farmers. Uttar Pradesh seeks answer for every injustice and atrocity,” it said.

On the alleged arrest of the MLA, the party said it is a murder of democratic rights. The Samajwadis will not be afraid of it and will stay strong, the party said in a tweet.

The Budget session of the Uttar Pradesh legislature began on Thursday with an address by Governor Anandiben Patel. The Budget is scheduled to be tabled on Monday. PTI SAB NAV RDK RDK