The budget session of the Uttar Pradesh legislature got off to a noisy start on Thursday with opposition members shouting anti-government slogans during Governor Anandiben Patel's address to the joint sitting of the two Houses.
As the governor read out her speech, opposition members rushed into the Well, displaying placards and raising slogans on issues ranging from the amended citizenship law, unemployment, farm distress and law and order.
The governor's speech, a vision document of the Yogi Adityanath government, was drowned in the din. The House was adjourned for the day after her speech.
In her hour-long speech, the governor said the UP government has "established a crime-free, fear-free, injustice-free atmosphere and rule of law in the state".
The state's annual budget - the fourth by the BJP government - will be tabled on February 18, a statement issued by the office of the UP Assembly Speaker said.
Back in the House, Samajwadi Party MLAs had come in their traditional red cap, while BSP and Congress members sported blue and white caps respectively - colours associated with their parties.
Holding placards in similar colours, Opposition members greeted the governor with "Rajyapal wapas jao (Governor go back!)" as soon as Patel entered the House for her maiden speech to the joint sitting of the Budget session.
Besides the usual posters reading "Naujawanon ko rozgar do (give employment to the youths)", "Kisan virodhi BJP sarkar gaddi chhodo (anti-farmer BJP govt resign) and "Humko CAA nahin, shanti chahiye (we don't need CAA, but peace)", some new ones like "Mehengai dayan khay jaat hai (we are reeling under high inflation)" were used to display the mood of the Opposition.
Before the House proceedings began, Samajwadi Party legislators assembled in front of the statue of Chaudhary Charan Singh in the Vidhan Bhawan campus to vent their ire.
Carrying placards, they protested against the law and order situation in the state, the steep hike in the price of domestic LPG cylinder and delay in the payment of arrears to sugarcane farmers.
Led by Leaders of Opposition in both the Houses, Ram Govind Chaudhary (Assembly) and Ahmed Hasan (Council), the SP legislators were also carrying LPG cylinders.
The governor continued her speech amid the noise, listing out the government's works and vision.
"Giving top priority to law and order...the government has created an atmosphere which is crime-free, fear-free, injustice-free."
"During the tenure of (this) government, mutual amity has prevailed between members of different communities," she said.
Referring to a recent hostage incident in Farrukhabad, the governor said that by securing the release of 23 children through a sensitive and brave planning by the administrative and police officials, the government has presented an example of its commitment on this count.
She said that compared to figures for 2017, last year the incidents of rape came down by 35.06 per cent, dacoity by 57.7 per cent, loot by 44.5 per cent and murder by 14.5 per cent.
She also made a mention of the government's steps towards ensuring prosecution of criminals and introduction of commissioner system of policing in Lucknow and Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) for effective policing.
Talking about the achievements of the state, she referred to welfare measures such as the Ujjwala scheme, housing for the poor, cane due clearance, MSME and Atal Pension Yojana, saying Uttar Pradesh has performed far better than other states in their implementation.
Making a mention of the state government's move to enhance religious and cultural tourism, the governor said that "high standard facilities are proposed in the city of Bhagwan Sri Ram Ayodhya."
The UP government holding various events including DefExpo successfully also found a mention in the 38-page speech in Hindi, besides the various welfare and development schemes being run by the government.
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