Govt-oppn standoff: Premature end to UP budget session likely

Govt-oppn standoff: Premature end to UP budget session likely

Govt-oppn standoff: Premature end to UP budget session likely

The standoff between the government and the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly has raised the possibility of curtailment of the ongoing budget session with both the sides refusing to relent.

In the Assembly, while the government said the opposition should "rectify their mistake", outside it, the latter flayed the BJP dispensation saying democracy in the state is "under attack".

The opposition had yesterday decided to boycott the lower House for remainder of the session accusing the ruling benches of threatening them and using unparliamentary language.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said in the Assembly today the opposition should "rectify their mistake" and appealed it to participate in the next proceedings on July 24 when the budget allocation for the Home department will be taken up for discussion.

With opposition benches empty, the budgets of all departments, except for Home and General Administration, have been passed in two days since yesterday.

"We could have concluded the business today itself, but we want the opposition to take part in the proceedings and discharge the duties assigned to them on the basis of their election to the House," Khanna stressed.

When approached by mediapersons, Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary rejected Khanna's appeal.

"The opposition will not get cowed down by the threats of the government...we are ready to give our lives in the name of democratic traditions and are also ready to fight for the dignity of the House and right to expression."

With the opposition not ready to blink, it appeared the session could be adjourned sine die before July 28-- when it is scheduled to end.

Referring to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's speech in the Assembly on Wednesday, the LoP said he has never heard a Leader of the House using such "harsh words".

Refuting suggestion that the opposition is upset over the Yogi government's move to order CBI probe into appointments made by the UP Public Service Commission since 2012 (the Akhilesh government tenure), he sought a probe since 1990 (when BJP's Kalyan Singh was at the helm in the state).

"They keep talking about so-called mis-governance of the past 15 years when the SP and the BSP ruled the state...but the backwards, the Dalits and the minorities will not fall prey to their pressure politics," he said.

On the recovery of "explosives" from under opposition benches in the assembly recently, he said it appeared to be aimed at "breaking" their morale and "framing" some of their members.

Earlier in the day, some opposition members took out a silent march in front of the assembly with their mouths covered to protest against what they termed as efforts to gag their voice.

Led by Chaudhary, members from SP, BSP, Congress and RLD also wore black bands in protest.
They pasted a memorandum "addressed" to late Chaudhary Charan Singh on the statue of the former prime minister outside the Vidhan Bhawan building.

The memorandum claimed that democracy is "under attack" in the state since the BJP government has come to power.

The state government is "gaging" the voice of opposition and "mikes are being switched off" to stop the voice of the people from being aired, it said.

"The right to expression is being checked and situation akin to undeclared curfew has been created...people are facing problems due to crime and their voice is not being allowed to be aired in the House...we pray you to give good sense to the BJP," reads the memorandum.

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