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Doordarshan to live telecast Uttar Pradesh assembly’s session starting today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-05-2017 PTI

Lucknow: The first session of the 17th assembly of Uttar Pradesh beginning from Monday will be telecast live by Doordarshan. A statement released by the office of the speaker said, “The historic decision has been made by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit. In the past, there were discussions about live telecast of proceedings of state assembly, but they did not materialise.”

In an earlier interview to PTI, the speaker had favoured longer sessions of the state legislature and mutual cooperation between the ruling party and the opposition for smooth conduct of the House.

He was also “open” to the idea of live telecast of the proceedings of the House. The statement released by Raj Bhavan also said governor Ram Naik will address the joint sitting of both the Houses (legislative assembly and legislative council).

Citing a new protocol issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the statement said, “Before the governor addresses the joint sitting of both the Houses, he will be accorded a Guard of Honour in Raj Bhavan, after which he will proceed for Vidhan Bhavan.”

“Upon reaching the Vidhan Bhavan, the governor will be welcomed by chief minister, chairman of legislative council and speaker of legislative assembly. The governor after arriving at Vidhan Bhavan will be given ‘national salute’ at the portico, after which he would move towards Vidhan Sabha Mandap,” the statement added.

The first session of the newly elected Uttar Pradesh Assembly is likely to be a stormy affair with the opposition parties deciding to take on Yogi Adityanath government on the law and order front. The government too is arming itself with all the relevant data to hit back at the opposition, which has only 74 MLAs against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies’ massive strength of 325 in the 403-member House.

The BJP legislature party met on Sunday to fine tune its strategy to counter the expected opposition onslaught and also to highlight the achievements of the government in its nearly two months in office. During the six-day session,the state bill for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will also be tabled. The opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party SP also convened their respective legislature party meetings to discuss ways to corner the government, especially on the law and order front.

Samajwadi Party party chief Akhilesh Yadav has raised questions about law and order in the state while BSP leaders too have expressed similar concerns. Recent caste and communal disturbances in Bulandshahr, Saharanpur, Gonda and Sambhal are likely to be raised by them to pillory the Adityanath government as the BJP had come to power in UP on the law and order plank, terming the situation during the Samajwadi Party government as ‘goondaraj’. “We were termed the goonda party. Now, what is happening under Yogi ji? Will he act?” former chief minister Yadav said.

BSP leader in Assembly Lalji Verma too spoke in a similar vein saying his party MLAs will raise law and order issues and also the rise in atrocities against Dalits. The session will begin with governor Ram Naik addressing a joint sitting of the state legislature where he is expected to highlight the achievements of the government.

The highlight of the session will be the state bill for implementation of the GST, for which a workshop will be held here for all MLAs and MLCs on Monday, coinciding with the first day of the session to provide them with adequate information on the matter.

For the first time in recent years, no one from SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family would lead the party in the lower House as Akhilesh has named Ram Govind Chaudhary as the Leader of the Opposition. Another interesting feature will be the change in the seating arrangements in the Assembly.

Swami Prasad Maurya and Rita Bahuguna Joshi—who were BSP’s leader of Opposition and a Congress MLA, respectively, in the previous regime—would sit in the treasury benches this time as BJP ministers.

In the Legislative Council, where SP has 66 members, former minister Ahmed Hasan will be the leader of the Opposition. It will also be interesting to watch whether Akhilesh attends the session—he is a member of the Upper House but had rarely attended proceedings when he was the chief minister.

The assembly secretariat maintained that there will be six sittings in the first session. From Tuesday to Thursday, time will be given for debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, which will continue till next Monday.

The House may have more sittings if Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly so decided. During a two-day recent training and orientation programme for legislators, the CM had stated his intention that the government wants to have at least 90 days of business at the House per year.

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