The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes with the opposition and treasury benches trading charges over the government’s “wrong statement” in connection with the recovery of “explosive” from the House in July. The matter, which came up in the Zero Hour, saw Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhry alleging that the Leader of the House Yogi Adityanath (or the chief minister) made the announcement about the alleged explosive without getting it properly examined. He also said that two Samajwadi Party members were “improperly” questioned by the security agencies in this regard. “What was said about the recovery of the explosive near Opposition benches was like a message that the Opposition was involved in terror activities…two of our members were questioned and this amounted to breach of their privileges,” Chaudhary contended. As Chaudhary called for punishing the Leader of the House, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna was on his feet, asserting that there cannot be any compromise on security when the entire world was facing the menace of terror.
As the minister asked the Opposition not to act irresponsibly, SP members rushed into the Well of the House raising slogans, leading to adjournment of the House for 50 minutes. Power Minister Srikant Sharma was heard charging the Opposition, especially the SP, with attempting to hijack the House proceedings and showing arrogance.
In an embarrassment to the Adityanath-led government, the NIA, which was directed to probe the ‘explosive’ found in the Assembly, had said that the powdered substance was not highly explosive PETN. The state government had also suspended Forensic Lab director Shiv Bihari Upadhyay for his wrong report on the recovery of PETN in Assembly. When the House reassembled, Chaudhary stressed that a proper probe was required before making the announcement as the wrong statement belittled the respect of the House and its members.
Ajay Kumar Lallu (Cong) alleged that the Leader of the House created an atmosphere of fear by making the announcement which turned out to be false and asked him to take it back, prompting the BJP members to lodge a strong protest. Lalji Verma (BSP) questioned as to why the announcement of the recovery of the suspicious looking substance came from the government instead of the Speaker.
Adityanath, who arrived in the House after it reassembled, said that the announcement was made after the matter was discussed in all-party meeting and he had got the feedback from the then director of FSL, who was eventually dismissed from service. “Is the respect of an individual more important than that of the entire House…it was our moral responsibility and we did what was expected of us… what if the recovered substance was actually an explosive…explosions do not wait for anyone,” he said recalling the attack on Parliament.
“There is no need to do politics over the issue…ours is the policy of zero tolerance on the issue of security,” the chief minister said, regretting that unparliamentary language is being used in the House since yesterday.
“Instead of issues, personal attacks are being made…the respect of the House is lowered when Opposition throw paper balls on Governor and indulge in whistling,” he said. “Our alertness will give security…there is freedom of expression but it is not infinite,” he stressed.