CM`s absence sparks Opposition walkout

The absence of Mayawati during initiation of a debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor`s address in the Uttar Pradesh assembly led to walkouts by the SP and the BJP and adjournment of the House twice.

Updated: Feb 09, 2011, 21:31 PM IST

Lucknow: The absence of Chief Minister and
Leader of the House Mayawati during initiation of a debate on
the motion of thanks to the Governor`s address in the Uttar
Pradesh assembly on Wednesday led to walkouts by the SP and the BJP
and adjournment of the House twice for over half-an-hour.

Charging the government with undermining established
democratic traditions, Leader of the Opposition Shivpal Singh
Yadav refused to initiate a debate on the motion of thanks in
the House in the absence of the Chief Minister.

As the debate was about to start on Governor B L
Joshi`s address to the joint sitting of the state legislature,
SP member Azam Khan and BJP`s Hukum Singh drew the attention
of the House to the absence of the Chief Minister.

They said it is an established democratic tradition
that the Leader of the House is always present in the House
during a debate on the motion of thanks.

"The Leader of the Opposition is voicing problems of
17-crore harried people of the state and the Chief Minister`s
absence is their humiliation," Khan said.

"Nobody becomes big by getting others to clean their
shoes", he said in an apparent reference to a police officer
wiping dust from Mayawati`s footwear in Auraiya earlier this
week.

Ambika Chaudhary (SP) said the time was allotted to
Yadav in consultation with Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Lalji Verma to suit the convenience of the Chief Minister.

Hukum Singh said sometimes even the Prime Minister
had to cancel his foreign visit when the Leader of the
Opposition was to speak in the House.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said such a
situation arose due to unavoidable circumstances.

Yadav, a senior SP leader, refused to budge saying he
was ready to wait for the Chief Minister to come to the House
as per her convenience and staged a walkout.

Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Om Prakash Singh
also led his party`s walkout forcing adjournment of the House.

After two adjournments spanning over half-an-hour and
walkouts, the Chief Minister finally arrived in the House and
Yadav initiated the debate.

PTI