UP: Oppn to boycott 36-hour Gandhi legislative session

Session will commence at 11 am on Oct. 2 and continue till night of Oct. 3 without a break, said state government spokesperson

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said the party's national president Akhilesh Yadav has decided to hold a programme at Mahatma Gandhi statue in Lucknow on October 2. Photo/PTI

To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Uttar Pradesh legislature will hold a 36-hour session from Wednesday, but the opposition parties have decided to boycott it alleging the state government was doing it just to set a record.

The Cabinet last month decided to convene the session of both the Assembly and Legislative Council on October 2. The session will commence at 11 am on October 2 and continue till the night of October 3 without any break, the state government's spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said.

However, the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided not to attend the session alleging the BJP government was not taking any action to curb incidents of crime in the state.

"We will boycott this session which has been called only to set a record. The government has nothing to do with people's problems. Loot, murder, rape and other crimes have increased under the present dispensation and the government is not doing anything," Congress Legislative Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu said.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said the party's national president Akhilesh Yadav has decided to hold a programme at Mahatma Gandhi statue in Lucknow on October 2.

"As all our MLAs and MLCs will be busy in the programme, it's unlikely that the SP will attend the session," he said, adding, "The party will pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday and sing his favourite hymns to propagate his ideology of truth, non-violence and harmony."

According to sources, the BSP has also decided not to attend the special session.

The BJP's former ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar alleged that the BJP government was organising the session "only for registering it in the Guinness world records".

"The BJP is not concerned about the people. The motive behind holding the special session is only to set a record," he said.

Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit said the House will discuss Mahatma Gandhi's life, personality, teachings and vision during the 36-hour session.

He asserted that this is the first-of-its-kind programme in the state, and the public is curious to know about it.

Asked to comment about the boycott call given by the opposition parties, he said, "I am fully confident that they will participate. All leaders have promised that they will participate in the programme and they will do so."

According to the state government, lawmakers will deliberate on the goals of coordinated development.

There will also be a discussion on ways to achieve sustainable development goals of the United Nations resolution signed by India in 2015, Shrikant Sharma said.

The goals primarily pertain to poverty alleviation, gender inequality elimination, malnutrition, health for all, energy for all, education for all, nutrition, drinking water, gender equality and others, he said.

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