UP legislature's 36-hr Gandhi session draws to a close

 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addresses during the second day of the 36-hour special session in the UP Assembly to mark the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in Lucknow, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Photo/PTI

The marathon 36-hour-long special session of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature, which commenced at 11 am on October 2 to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi concluded on Thursday night.

Both houses of the legislature, the Assembly and the Council, on Thursday passed a resolution asking the state government to take effective steps to achieve the sustainable development goals set up by the United Nations while adhering to the ideals of the Father of the Nation.

As the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly were going on, members of the Legislative Council too joined them following adjournment), thereby giving it the look of a joint meeting of both the houses.

Asked to comment on the nature of the sitting and whether it should be termed as joint session of both the houses, Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Hriday Narayan Dixit told PTI, "It should not be construed as joint session or joint sitting. It can be called as 'sanyukt sammelan' (joint meeting)."

Dixit was joined by Ramesh Yadav, the chairman of the UP Legislative Council, who sat next to him as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke for nearly one-and-half hours.

Later, both the houses were were adjourned sine die.

In his speech, Adityanath also informed members of both the houses about the committees formed for achieving the goals.

Adityanath, thanked the leaders of other opposition parties who participated in the special session for listening to the voice of conscience and for living to the values of democracy.

"Such continuous events are a rarity. In a democracy, communication should continue. It is the best weapon, and if communication is disrupted, then it may become the cause of 'upadrav' (clash)," he said.

Taking a jibe at the Opposition, the Chief Minister said, "Initially they had said no to the 48 hour-long session. The fact is that it difficult for the Opposition to sit even for a minute. The slogans, which they had raised in the name of the poor, have been unveiled. The Opposition used to say that there is no discussion on poverty in the house, and when the discussions were going on, the Opposition went 'nau do gyarah' (fled away)."

"The mandate given by the people in 2014, 2017 and 2019 shows that the people have given their mandate after seriously deliberating on various aspects," he added.

Citing a couplet by Tulsidas 'jahaan sumati tahaan sampati nana, jahaan kumati tahaan bipatti nidana' (where there is wisdom, there is prosperity, and where this is stupidity, there is problem), he said that in the previous regimes the money meant for providing flood relief to people of the state was gobbled up, and they used to believe that doing such acts was their birthright.

"The scene has changed today and flood relief compensation reaches the kin of the deceased in 24 hours," he said.

Hitting out at the Congress in particular, Adityanath said, "Those who fled from discussion, for them democracy means their family. The Congress should have participated in the session."

"A family does not like people from outside being hailed or honoured and it feels bad. Be it the case of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sardar Patel, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. They had said that Gandhian values should be imbibed. Do you imbibe Gandhian values through CWG scam?" he said.

Adityanath said that the sustainable development goals will help Uttar Pradesh to move ahead as all the goals are interlinked.

"The entire world is looking towards India, and India is looking towards UP," he said.

Referring to the attendance of the Legislative Assembly, he said that on Wednesday at around 12 midnight, 103 MLAs were present, at 1 am there were 88 MLAs, while at around 2 am, there were 78 MLAs present. 

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