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The maiden session of the newly elected UP Assembly opened today with Governor Ram Naik being bombarded with paper balls during his address, as an angry opposition protested what they described as the worsening law and order situation. The session was the first after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in March. It was also the first time proceedings were being aired live on Doordarshan, which caught the unruly scenes as the legislators, many in the Samajwadi Party's trademark red caps, shouted slogans and carried placards. They threw paper balls at Naik, some of which even hit him, despite marshals trying to shield the governor with the help of files. Samajwadi legislator Rajesh Yadav blew a whistle through the 35-minute address to ensure that the governor's voice was drowned out. As the governor's address began, the entire opposition -- comprising members of the SP, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party -- started shouting slogans against the government over the issue of law and order. They then trooped into the well of the House with banners raising anti-government slogans. A BSP placard read "police pit rahi thane me, Yogi tere zamane me" (Cops are being beaten up in Yogi's regime), while Congress slogans accused the government of focusing on issues such as slaughter houses and triple talaq, while ignoring law and order. BJP members added to the din, thumping their desks loudly whenever the governor lauded the government. Chief Minister Adityanath was present when Naik read out the 84-page address. The address is a note prepared by the government highlighting its achievements. Indirectly blaming previous governments for the situation in UP, Naik lauded the Adityanath government on its resolve to transform it into a frontline state. When the din continued unabated, Naik pointed out to the MLAs that they were live on TV. "The entire state of Uttar Pradesh is watching you," the visibly annoyed governor told the legislators. State Minister Siddharth Nath Singh later accused the Opposition of "hooliganism". "The way in which SP members jumped atop tables and threw paper balls is condemnable.
They made a mockery of democracy," he told reporters. The opposition members hit out at the government, saying that the law and order mechanism had collapsed in the state under the present regime. "Rape and murders have increased. Even incidents of rapes of children have gone up... This government is a failure," SP Legislature Party leader Ram Govind Chowdhury said. Hours later, when the house reassembled following the morning disruptions, the State GST (Goods and Service Tax) Bill was tabled in the Assembly.
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