Monsoon session: From Uttar Pradesh assembly to street, Akhilesh Yadav turns up political heat

Published on Sep 23, 2022 11:36 PM IST

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav leads unannounced march after staging a walkout from the Uttar Pradesh assembly with his party MLAs and RLD members

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav leading a march in Lucknow on Friday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav leading a march in Lucknow on Friday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
By, Lucknow

Raising the political temperature on a rainy day, Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav led a march by party legislators in Lucknow yet again against the Yogi Adityanath government on the last day of the monsoon session on Friday.

The unannounced march was preceded by Akhilesh Yadav, along with his party members and those of the ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), staging a walkout and boycotting the Uttar Pradesh assembly proceedings on not receiving “satisfactory answers from the government” on various issues, including the Allahabad University fee hike.

The Friday march led by Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of opposition and former chief minister, came after a massive showdown with the police in a similar but pre-announced march on the first day of the session on September 19.

Many police personnel on duty outside the Vidhan Bhavan walked along on Friday as Akhilesh, unlike on September 19, caught the police and administration unawares.

The party said the protest was held after answers were not given in the state assembly on various issues, including women’s safety, inflation and those related to farmers.

The Allahabad University fee hike was among the issues that Yadav raised when the House assembled in the morning and demanded a discussion.

Speaker Satish Mahana turned down the demand, stating that the matter can be taken up for discussion later.

At this, Yadav said Allahabad University fee hike is a big burden on the students and poor students will not be able to pursue their studies.

The SP leader suggested the government should provide relief to students. The U.P. government is silent on the issue and no action has been taken to provide relief to the students, he said.

The speaker said the House will run according to the rules and the (fee hike) issue can be taken up for discussion later. Nevertheless, Akhilesh continued to attack the state government on the fee hike and other public matters.

Shortly before the march, Akhilesh Yadav said in the assembly: “We have not got any satisfactory answers from this government on various issues, including unemployment. Health facilities are still in a shambles. So, the Samajwadi Party is staging a walkout.”

After the march, Akhilesh said to the media that the party will continue its constant struggle from “sadak se sadhan tak (from streets to legislature).”

Akhilesh Yadav has intensified his and the party’s attack on the Yogi government ever since the monsoon session started.

On opening day of the monsoon session on September 19, Akhilesh had staged a dharna (sit-in) on the road near the party headquarters when the police halted his march to Vidhan Bhavan that day. At the dharna, the SP had also held a mock assembly session with former speaker Mata Prasad Pandey presiding over it.

On Friday, the former UP chief minister and SP legislators walked from the Vidhan Bhavan (using a rear VIP gate) to the party’s state headquarters on the Vikramaditya Marg via Raj Bhavan.

While marching, the SP legislators shouted anti-government slogans and waved placards.

“Law and order has completely collapsed in the state,” Akhilesh Yadav said, accusing the government of not responding to the issues of the people in the House.

“The government should make it clear how women will be protected because the statistics of National Crime Records Bureau and Women’s Commission say that Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of crimes against women,” he said.

“The government should answer on inflation, what concrete steps have been taken to provide employment and what measures have been taken on the law and order front,” he added.

“They have big dreams of investment and are dreaming of one trillion dollars (economy). What steps have you taken for it ?” Yadav asked.

“The government does not want to continue the proceedings of the House for a longer duration,” the SP chief said.

“Why is it ending the monsoon session within five days? All ministers want to give information about their budget. We want to ask them what work they have done. The budget has not yet reached the districts,” he said.

Parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Khanna criticised the SP over the walkout.

“Instead of raising public issues, the leader of opposition Akhilesh Yadav is working on his personal agenda. The issues raised by him have been already discussed in the House. The Yogi government is doing excellent work to improve law and order, check inflation and unemployment. The state government has also improved the health facilities. Uttar Pradesh has witnessed development in all the sectors,” Khanna said.

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