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BSP targets Akhilesh

- Opposition stalls House over Samajwadi ‘misrule’

Lucknow, Nov. 26: Akhilesh Yadav today got his first taste of Opposition fury as Mayawati’s BSP tore into the eight-month-old government, disrupting House proceedings and screaming slogans against frequent riots, poor law and order and a planned release of terror suspects.

The Congress and the BJP were relatively quiet, though a BJP leader trooped into the well of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly to draw the Samajwadi-led government’s attention to difficulties faced by sugarcane farmers.

The protests erupted around 11 this morning, soon after the House reopened for the winter session. While BSP legislators had smuggled in banners denouncing the government’s “kushasan” (misrule) — banners and placards are not allowed inside — a former minister called for sacking the chief minister.

“With every passing day, the state government is recording a new low in crimes. We demand imposition of President’s rule,” Naseemuddin Siddique told reporters in the lobby.

At the June session of the Assembly, the Opposition had chosen to defer its attack, saying it would wait till the new chief minister completed at least six months.

Today, one of the BSP banners read “250 days of the SP’s misrule” had already reminded people of Mayawati’s “good governance”.

At least five riots have broken out since March 15, when Akhilesh was sworn in.

Parliamentary affairs minister Azam Khan said goons the BSP patronised were involved in these riots. “The BSP is creating this noise to stop us from arresting them,” he added.

The BSP legislators said: “Sarkaar past, janta trast, gunde mast (government fails; people nervous and criminals upbeat).”

On the proposed release of the terror suspects, a BSP banner read: “Chhalawa samajwad ka, badhawa aatankavaad ka (socialism is a fašade, the government is promoting terrorism).”

Akhilesh had last week started a process to release around 50 suspects arrested during Mayawati’s tenure on the charge of involvement in terrorism but have not been prosecuted yet for lack of evidence.

As the 80-odd BSP legislators in the 403-member House trooped in and out of the well, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey adjourned proceedings around 1.45pm. Akhilesh sat through the chaos.

The Congress and the BJP, too, criticised the government for poor law and order but drew attention to the delay in announcing a minimum support price for cane farmers.

BJP state chief Laxmikant Bajpai, who entered the well, said the crushing season had set in, but the failure to announce the support price had inconvenienced over 10 lakh farmer families.