The Opposition stalled the Uttar Pradesh Assembly proceedings over the Muzaffarnagar riots on Monday, the first day of the monsoon session, and forced several adjournments to corner the Samajwadi Party government. The entire question hour was lost due to the din raised by members of the Bahujan Samaj Party, the BJP, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Congress.

As the Opposition members stood firm, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey adjourned the House for the day after rushing through the agenda, amid slogans kept up by the BSP and the BJP to condemn the government’s alleged failure to control the riots. The House will re-assemble on Wednesday.

When the House assembled, the entire Opposition trooped into the well, raising banners and shouting slogans. The BSP MLAs stood on their seats, sporting blue paper-caps. As the Speaker’s plea that the members return to their seats was drowned in the din, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan criticised the BJP and the “fascist forces” for conspiring to spread communalism in the State. Mr. Khan said the government believed that the Hindutva forces were out to replicate the Gujarat model in Uttar Pradesh, dividing society along communal lines, but warned mischief-makers that it would deal with them firmly.

Chaos continued when the House re-assembled for zero hour. The BJP members who had stayed put in the well jostled with guards as they tried to reach the Speaker’s podium. The Opposition parties which closed ranks against the government over the riots did not miss an opportunity to settle scores with one another. When the Speaker called for order and regretted that the Opposition did not want a debate, Pramod Tiwari said the Congress was for a debate.