To modify Karl Marx’s famous quote, history in Uttar Pradesh repeats itself first as tragedy, and then as tragedy again. The people of the state have voted for massive change, they have conclusively rejected the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the present. Yet, rather than work in a constructive manner to regain lost ground, we witnessed the shocking behaviour of BSP MLAs violently disrupting the budget session of the joint house of the Vidhan Sabha and Vidhan Parishad, preventing the governor, BL Joshi, from completing his address. Wearing blue caps with anti-government slogans, they rushed to the well of the house and behaved in an appalling manner by disrupting the proceedings on the grounds that the ruling Samajwadi Party must end its goondaraj. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav merely smiled beatifically.
This is not the first time that the largest assembly in the country has been brought to a standstill over political differences. In 2009, Mr Yadav’s party MLAs ripped up microphones and used them as weapons bringing the house proceedings to a halt. There are many democratic ways of registering one’s protest against misdeeds by political opponents. A good beginning would be to have a constructive debate in the House and not by creating pandemonium. MLAs have been elected to put forward the concerns of people in a manner in which they get addressed, not by behaving like mobs. The BSP supremo Ms Mayawati, now a Rajya Sabha MP, should come down firmly on her errant MLAs. From the word go, things have not really looked up for Mr Yadav in the state with his own party workers taking the law into their own hands in several instances. His dole for the jobless scheme too has not worked well as it is ill-thought out and unfeasible given the economic scenario. Of course, this does not mean that the BSP MLAs ought to behave in this boorish manner. This comes at a time when people are disillusioned with politics and governance.
If the BSP had any political savvy, it should be addressing where it went wrong instead of putting on this unacceptable display. This only shows that the party is more interested in scoring political points than doing any work on the ground. The spirit of cooperation and discussion which once existed among political parties seems to have all but vanished. It now appears that the BSP will continue with these antics until its version of law and order is restored. This only means that more days will be lost in this pointless war of words. This could not be worse for a state which has among the lowest development indicators in the country or for the political change that people have sought.