BSP accuses Akhilesh government of striking a deal with mill owners

Uproar over the sugarcane pricing issue threw the Uttar Pradesh Assembly into disorder on Monday, with the Opposition accusing the Samajwadi Party government of giving a raw deal to cane growers. As pandemonium prevailed, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey adjourned the House twice during Question Hour.

Later, the Supplementary Grants of Rs. 3,619.76 crore for 2013-2014 were tabled in the House by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the Finance Minister.

The Opposition had come prepared to corner the State government on the sugarcane farmers’ issue, with parties outmanoeuvring one another.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, the second largest Opposition party in the Assembly, tried to score a point when its MLAs trooped in and, instead of taking their seats, sat in the well of the House even before the proceedings started.

When the House assembled for the day, the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal MLAs were on their feet demanding that cane farmers be given a better price.

They accused the government of taking the farmers for a ride. Waving banners and placards, the BJP members tried to move towards the Speaker’s podium but their attempts were foiled by the security guards. The BSP members also shouted anti-government slogans with some of them standing on their seats, holding banners accusing the government of striking a deal with mill owners at the cost of cane growers.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House after about three minutes of the Question Hour. Disorder prevailed when the House re-assembled after 30 minutes, leading the Speaker to adjourn the Assembly till 12.20 p.m.

Dismissing the Opposition charge after presenting the Supplementary Budget, the Chief Minister said the government had given several benefits to farmers. Mr. Yadav accused the previous BSP government of selling 21 sugar mills, and said his government had taken measures to start the closed mills, including the Mohiddinipur Sugar Mill in Meerut.

He said when the BJP was in power, cane farmers had been killed, adding that since the Opposition could not fight on issues, it was creating disorder in the House.

Mr. Yadav said the government would ensure that the State Advised Price (SAP) of Rs. 280 a quintal of cane was paid to the farmers. The SP had always worked in the interest of sugarcane growers, he claimed.

Rich tributes were paid to the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, in the Assembly. The Speaker and Mr. Yadav led the House in remembering Mr. Mandela’s contribution. The Leader of the Opposition, Swamy Prasad Maurya, and leaders of the BJP, the RLD and Apna Dal, and Pramod Tiwari of the Congress also paid tributes to Mandela, as did the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mohammad Azam Khan.

A two-minute silence was observed in the South African leader’s memory after which the House was adjourned till Tuesday.