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UP Budget session starts on stormy note; Guv addresses amid Oppn protest

The Uttar Pradesh legislature's budget session started on a stormy note with opposition Samajwadi Party disrupting Governor Anandiben Patel's address with "Rajyapal wapas jao" slogans

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Press Trust of India Lucknow
The Uttar Pradesh legislature's budget session started on a stormy note on Monday with opposition Samajwadi Party disrupting Governor Anandiben Patel's address with "Rajyapal wapas jao" slogans.
The governor continued her speech amid the rancorous slogan-shouting, and said the state government is moving on the path of good governance, security and development. An environment of peace and harmony is being ensured with the policy of zero-tolerance towards crime and corruption, she said.
In her speech that lasted a little over an hour, she referred to the recent Global Investors Summit in Lucknow and various other achievements of the state government, welcomed by members of the ruling party, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, by thumping of the table.
The Samajwadi Party protest was also backed by RLD, Congress and BSP members who stood in their place as the government read out the speech.
The governor said the investors summit got encouraging response from the global business community and 19,058 proposals worth more than Rs 33.50 lakh-crore were received which are likely to create more than 94 lakh employment opportunities.
In her address, she also condoled the death of former chief minister and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The governor said that in 59.1 percent cases of crimes against women, the culprits have been punished, which is the highest in the country and more than double the national average.
The state government has identified 847 encroachers as land mafia in the state and 196 of them are in jail now, she said, adding four anti-land mafia task forces have been constituted, and more than 70,000 hectare area in the state has been made encroachment-free so far, she said.
Opposition members raised slogans such as 'Rajyapal wapas jao (governor go back)' and 'Pradesh me bulldozer ka aatank (bulldozer-terrorism in the state)'. They also attacked the government over law and order, and threw barbs like "dictatorship"

Leader of Opposition in the House Akhilesh Yadav was seen carrying a placard that demanded a "caste census" and equal rights to all. SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav was seen sitting on the front row after the patch-up with nephew Akhilesh Yadav and being made the SP's national general secretary.
The governor said there was a continuous decrease in crime cases in the state.
"There has been a decrease of 80.31 per cent in dacoity incidents, 61.51 per cent in robbery incidents, 32.45 per cent in murder cases, 51.65 per cent in rioting cases, 43.18 per cent in kidnapping for ransom and 21.75 per cent in rape cases as compared to the year 2016," she said, reeling out figures.
Patel said that as a result of the continuous efforts being made by the government to promote spiritual tourism, more than 24.87 crore tourists visited the state from January to October in 2022, including 4.10 lakh foreigners.
In 2022, a world record was created by lighting 15,76,955 lamps at the Deepotsav organised in Ayodhya, she said.
After the expansion/beautification of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham, the number of devotees coming there for the darshan has increased four to five times, she said, adding the construction of Bhajan Sandhya Sthal in Ayodhya and Chitrakut, and the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Bhawan in Ghaziabad has been completed.
In view of a possible increase in the number of devotees and tourists to Ayodhya, works related to beautification, widening of roads and public amenities are being carried out there.
She said that four Teerth Vikas Parishads -- Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad, Mathura; Shri Vindhyadham Teerth Vikas Parishad, Mirzapur; Shri Chitrakoot Dham Teerth Vikas Parishad, Chitrakoot; and Shri Naimisharanya Dham Teerth Vikas Parishad, Sitapur have been formed to promote spiritual tourism.
Earlier in the day, SP MLAs led by Shivpal Singh Yadav staged a dharna in the assembly premises, raising various issues including that of farmers and law and order.
While trying to evict SP legislators, marshals posted in the premises had a scuffle with photojournalists, leading to a protest there by the SP leaders.
Yadav told reporters that they want to raise issues related to public interest in the House.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya termed the protest an attempt to "vitiate" the atmosphere and said the opposition party is left with no valid issue to raise.
"The state is progressing on the path of development. The SP does not have any issue and is trying to divert the attention of people towards them and vitiate the atmosphere," he said. "Whatever issues they have, they should come to the House and discuss. The government is ready to reply to them."

When asked about the demonstration, Maurya said it does not matter if Shivpal or Akhilesh or their entire family sit on dharna as "we have our target of development and we are focussing on it.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 20 2023 | 5:13 PM IST

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