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Day of shame

india Updated: Feb 10, 2009 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent

Uttar Pradesh Governor T.V. Rajeswar arrived at the Vidhan Sabha complex on Tuesday morning, armed with a 71-page speech.

But his speech ended in 60 seconds flat, as irate Opposition members started throwing paper balls and shouting slogans.

Rajeswar was to address a joint session of the House, marking the beginning of the budget session, but he had to finish by hurriedly reading the first and last lines of the speech from behind a human wall formed by his guards.

The governor’s speech lauded the state’s vastly improved law and order situation by creating an atmosphere free of injustice, crime and fear while Opposition members pushed and jostled with each other to reach the podium to throw paper missiles. And thus, the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha began.

Many veterans, however, say rare is the opening day of any session of the UP assembly that is not marked by the Opposition disrupting the governor’s speech.

There has been only one occasion in the last five years when Governor Rajeswar was able to deliver his opening address without interruption. That was after Mayawati had won a majority in the May 2007 poll.

But by the following year, it was business as usual. In October 1997, however, things did go a little too far. Opposition MLAs uprooted the mikes on their tables and flung them at the treasury benches, threw paperweights and chairs as well. The BJP MLAs paid back in kind. Some MLAs ended up in hospital.

On Tuesday, the House was scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Things looked normal, as Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Mayawati were duly welcomed by their respective party MLAs.

But as soon as the governor reached the podium, the Samajwadi Party, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal members started raising slogans, Rajyapal vapas jao (governor, go back) and Hatyari sarkar barkhast karo (dismiss the killer government).