It is deeply regrettable that the first session of the 16th Uttar Pradesh Assembly was marked by throwing of paper missiles at Governor Ram Naik as he read out the customary Governor’s address amid shouting of slogans. We have been a democracy far too long not to learn to respect conventions. There is enough time during a session to express opposition to the government on issues with force and persuasive arguments.
It was truly a sad sight to see marshals deflecting paper missiles which were directed at the Governor. The indecorous members were demanding that the Governor make a mention of the “deteriorating law and order situation in the State.” What made matters worse was the role of the Leader of the Opposition, former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who allowed the misbehaviour without intervening.
Apparently, the ugly conduct of the legislators of both Houses had his complete sanction. The Samajwadi Party owes an explanation and an apology to the Governor and to the people at large through their representatives for having given such a poor account of themselves in a session which was the inaugural meeting under a new government. If this is going to be the way the Opposition behaves session after session, the opportunity to call the government to account for sins of omission and commission would be forfeited to the detriment of the country’s most populous state. There are pressing issues waiting to be debated and an irresponsible opposition can do much damage to the process of governance which is the bedrock of the democratic system.
The Governor’s address is basically an expression of intent by the government which any opposition must listen to with rapt attention so that the government can be held duly accountable on its performance. The Yogi Adityanath government came to power essentially on a negative note because of the poor record of the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government on law and order. It is too early to judge the new dispensation but there is general acceptance that there is any honest effort being made to improve law and order as also to give the state a good administration. If the credibility of the Opposition is to be established, it must attack when the time is ripe which it is not.