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UP assembly witnesses uproar for second consecutive day over Akhilesh controversy

UP assembly witnesses uproar for second consecutive day over Akhilesh controversy
Image Credit: Wikimedia

The denial of permission to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to fly to Allahabad rocked the Uttar Pradesh legislature Wednesday as angry SP and BSP members stalled proceedings of both the Houses. The entire Question Hour was derailed in both the Assembly and the Council as proceedings had to be adjourned repeatedly and then for the day as the agitated members were in no mood to relent.

Protests by SP and BSP members on the issue started as soon as the two Houses met for the day. The pre-lunch sitting of the Assembly saw two adjournments as opposition members vociferously raised the issue. Amid uproar, Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit adjourned the House, first for 30 minutes and then for the entire Question Hour.

SP leader Narendra Verma tried to raise the issue during Question Hour. He was instantly supported by BSP legislature party leader Lalji Verma, who said, "Lathicharge was done in the entire state by police and fake cases were lodged against protestors. An MP (SP's Dharmendra Yadav) was injured in the lathicharge."

"There is 'Hitlershahi' in the state as the government is resorting to activities which demean democracy," he claimed. Countering Verma, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said as the opposition does not have any issue, it is creating anarchy in the state. "Our government is committed to the welfare of people and development of the state," he added. When the speaker did not allow discussion on the matter during the Question Hour, opposition members trooped into the Well raising anti-government slogans.

During Zero Hour, the opposition members again raised the matter and demanded that "fake cases" lodged in the matter should be withdrawn. They also demanded that FIR be lodged against policemen involved in "atrocities", besides a judicial probe by a retired high court judge. BSP's Verma, while supporting SP members, said, "The matter is of utmost importance and needed judicial probe."

SP member Sangram Singh Yadav said, "I was myself present there. Police targeted SP workers in the brutal lathicharge and also resorted to firing. They pulled off nail of a worker and beat up student leader Richa Singh, who is in hospital." Khanna then said the matter was taken up yesterday as well and SP-BSP members did not allow the House to function.

"Lies were stated by them. A letter was sent to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and the same was received by his personal assistant. It is a planned conspiracy to create anarchy in the state. Yogi government will not tolerate this. SP workers were involved in stone pelting, banner with photos of the prime minister and chief minister was burnt and there was an attempt to breach peace of entire state as per their conspiracy," he said. "The government will not hesitate in taking strict action against whosoever takes law in his hand and vitiate law and order," he added.

Following the ministers' reply, the opposition members once again came into the Well creating pandemonium leading to adjournment of the House for 30 minutes. When the House met again, Congress leader Ajay Kumar Lallu said the government's act was condemnable and there was no need to stop the former chief minister.

"It is an attack on democracy. We want judicial probe," he said. The speaker then rushed through the listed business before calling it a day. The matter also figured in Legislative Council, where Leader of Opposition Ahmad Hasan raised the matter. When Leader of the House Dinesh Sharma tried to answer, opposition members protested leading to adjournment of Question Hour.

When the House met again similar scenes prevailed, prompting Chairman Ramesh Yadav to adjourn for the day. Before the legislature met this morning, a delegation of SP and BSP leaders called on Governor Ram Naik and handed over a memorandum seeking his intervention apprising of the situation.

The delegation comprised SP's Hasan, BSP's Verma and a number of MLAs and MLCs from both the parties. "We strongly condemn the dictatorial attitude of the Yogi Adityanath government. SP workers will not tolerate such action. Not only us, but people of the state will also give a befitting reply in the Lok Sabha elections," SP MLC Sunil Yadav Sajan told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan here. Samajwadi Party legislators also sat on dharna outside the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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