UP Budget session: Oppn gears up to corner govt over farm protests, fuel prices, law & order

At all-party meeting, Speaker and CM urge members to maintain decorum

A day before the Budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly gets underway, Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit convened an all-party meeting to seek the support of the Opposition and the BJP for the smooth conduct of business in the House.

While the Opposition parties assured the Speaker of their support, sources said they were preparing for a stormy start to the first session of the year and would raise matters such as the farmers’ protests, sugarcane dues, the law-and-order situation, and rising petrol and diesel prices. The Opposition is also likely to interrupt the address of Governor Anandiben Patel in which she will spell out the achievements of the state government.

Sources in the Samajwadi Party (SP) said the party had decided that most of its MLAs would reach the Assembly in bicycles to protest against rising fuel prices. The bicycle is the party’s symbol, and the move will be a gesture to its intent to come back to power in next year’s elections.

BSP chief Mayawati made it clear on Wednesday that the party had asked its MLAs to raise issues such as corruption and farmers’ demands. “In the UP Vidhan Sabha session starting from tomorrow, party MLAs have been directed to make the government accountable on the issue of farmers, issues of public interest, lacunae in the functioning of the government in crime control and also its biased action in cases of law and order,” she tweeted.

At the all-party meeting, following Dikshit’s appeal to members to maintain decorum, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made the same request. He said the government was committed to promoting not just constructive debates but also long proceedings to ensure detailed debates. Serious discussions held while maintaining decorum would increase people’s faith in democracy, Adityanath added.

Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary of the SP, Congress Legislative Party leader Aradhana Mishra, BSP Legislative Party leader Lalji Verma, and Apna Dal leader Neel Ratan Patel also attended the meeting. The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj was represented by Triveni Ram instead of party president Om Prakash Rajbhar.

Earlier in the day, the Business Advisory Committee decided that the Budget session would go on till March 10. According to the agenda cleared by the committee, the annual Budget will be tabled on February 22.

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