Feb 16, 2009 at 07:46pm IST

Rampaging MLAs bring UP House down

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) legislators threw microphones and paper balls, waved black flags and shouted at the Governor in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday.

The Budget session of the Assembly, which started on Tuesday morning, had to be adjourned as SP legislators protested against the murder of a Public Works Department (PWD) engineer in Auraiya district.

Manoj Gupta was allegedly murdered at the behest of ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Shekhar Tiwari after he reportedly refused to cough up money for Chief Minister Mayawati's birthday celebrations on January 15.

SP legislators threw paper missiles, hurled mikes and shouted slogans while Governor TV Rajeswar looked on helplessly and his marshals tried to fend off the politicians.

Rajeswar kept smiling and ducked when a black banner was thrown at him.

The Governor read the first and last line of the address in which only the word ‘Jai Hind’ was audible.

SP members entered the well of the House and stood up on tables.

Chief Minister Mayawati, along with the treasury bench and BSP members, watched in silence.

The Bharatiya Janata Party boycotted the Governor’s address and the Congress, Rashtriya Lok Dal and other Opposition members remained standing as a mark of protest.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma, while speaking after the adjournment, said it was a black day for the Assembly.

''The Opposition members should have heard the address and later proved their points against the government during the debate on the thanks motion,'' he said.

SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said his party was justified in protesting.

Yadav claimed BSP was responsible for the PWD engineer’s death and accused the state and central governments of failing to maintain the rule of law in the state.

''The people of the state are a harassed lot with farmers, youths, women and even the government employees being ditched by the BSP government in their over one-and-a-half-year rule,'' he said.

Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari claimed that the Governor's address was illegal as it began two minutes before the scheduled time.

He also said the Governor knew about the miseries of the people and the fake details of the address made him smile all through the disturbances in the House.

The Assembly will not meet on Wednesday to condole the deaths of sitting BSP MLA Archana Saroj, former president Venkatraman and former prime minister V P Singh.

(With inputs from IANS and UNI)