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Legislators take off their shirts in UP assembly


Lucknow, Feb 19 :

The Uttar Pradesh assembly Wednesday witnessed uproarious scenes as legislators raised slogans and two of them took off their shirts, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house till Thursday.

Frontal view of the UP Assembly
Frontal view of the UP Assembly

The bedlam started as soon as Governor B.L. Joshi began to read out his address to the joint sitting of the two houses of the state legislature. The session has been called to pass an interim budget for 2014-15.

Opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislators led by Swamy Prasad Maurya trooped towards the speaker, held placards and raised anti-government slogans. They were protesting over what they called was a total collapse of law and order in the state.

Two Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) legislators stunned everyone by taking off their shirts as a gesture of protest.

Legislators Amarjeet Singh and Sudesh Sharma took off their shirts, shouting anti-government slogans for not paying the arrears of cane growers of western Uttar Pradesh.

While the governor left the house without completing his address, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey adjourned the house till 12.20 p.m.

When the house reassembled, the furore resurfaced and refused to die down, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house till Thursday morning.

Later addressing reporters, senior BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui justified the protests and said the Akhilesh Yadav government has forfeited the right to rule the state.

He also alleged that criminals were running the state while mining mafia was running amock by bribing the ruling party leaders.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan termed the opposition behaviour as unruly and shameful.

The session, which has been called to pass the vote on account for 2014-15 owing to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, was expected to be stormy, with the Bharatiya Janata Party deciding to boycott the governor’s address.