Uproarious scenes marked the Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik’s address to the joint sitting of the House in the Vidhan Sabha on the opening day of the budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature on Thursday.

The Budget session was also the first session of 2018. As the combined Opposition took the Yogi Adityanath government to task on the law and order situation, the plight of farmers and related issues, the Governor, undeterred by the din that prevailed and despite paper missiles thrown at the podium by some Opposition members, read out his entire 38-page address. Barely had the House proceedings started at 11 a.m. that the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress legislators were up on their feet.

Holding placards which said “BJP sarkar mast hai, qanoon vyawastha dwasth hai” (BJP government is unconcerned, law and order is in a shambles), “Lathi goli ki sarker nahi chalegi”(the government of coercion will not work), “BJP ke zamane mein, police pit rahi thane mein (under the BJP regime the police is getting thrashed in the police stations) they raised anti-government slogans. A couple of SP legislators were seen sporting garlands made of potatoes to draw attention to the hardships being faced by potato growers.

The protest by the Opposition was not limited to sloganeering alone. Paper missiles aimed at the Governor were thrown in addition to balloons. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as also SP president Akhilesh Yadav were present all through. The din and shouting led Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to observe “aap sab samaj ke pratinidhi hai, iske viprit vyawahar karte hain” (you all are representatives of the society, yet your behaviour is at variance with the same).

Later, talking to press persons, the chief minister slammed the Opposition for the unruly behaviour in the House during the governor’s address and termed their conduct as unparliamentary. He said the Vidhan Sabha Speaker had also condemned the behaviour of the Opposition legislators.

Yogi Adityanath said paper missiles and balloons were thrown and criticised the Samajwadi Party and other Opposition MLAs for creating anarchy in the House. Earlier, the governor read out his address from start to finish clocking around one-and-a-half hours. In his address Naik waxed eloquent about the government working towards the welfare of all sections of the society, especially farmers, the poor and deprived people.

He said the steps taken by the government for the uplift of the people would continue under the resolve of ‘sab ka saath sab ka vikaas’. Stating that Uttar Pradesh had lagged behind in development, the Governor said several measures have been taken by the government for bringing the state on the fast lane of development.

On the law and order situation in the state, the Uttar Pradesh Governor said there has been a visible improvement in the law and order scenario and crime control. “Rule of law has been established in the state with the government creating a crime-free atmosphere,” Naik said.

He said the governor is determined to bring the goondas, mafia and anti-social elements under effective legal proceedings for establishing the rule of law. Naik mentioned the ‘Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime (UPCOCA) Bill’ and said it was under consideration in the state legislature.

After this law is implemented it would be possible to effectively control organised crime, as well as to seize illegal property, the governor said.He said the anti-land mafia task force had been constituted at the state, division, district and tehsil levels, adding that so far now 53,584 hectares of gram sabha and government land had been freed from the land mafia. The governor said 1,426 land mafia had been identified and action was being taken against them under the relevant provisions of law.