LUCKNOW: The special 36-hour session of the UP legislature to mark Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary got underway on Wednesday, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flaying the opposition's decision to boycott proceedings as not only an "insult" to the Father of the Nation but also a "contempt" of the House.
The simultaneous sessions of the state assembly and legislative council begun at 11 am and will continue till Thursday night without a break. "I am astonished that the opposition, which had in an all-party meeting agreed to discuss issues concerning the poor, has boycotted proceedings. The opposition's decision to stay away from constructive discussion to form a concrete policy for development is not only an insult to Mahatma Gandhi but also a contempt of the House," he said addressing the state assembly.
The special session will see leaders deliberate on 16 sustainable development goals to mark Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary. However, opposition parties including Samajwadi Party, BSP, Congress and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party have boycotted proceedings claiming the state government is just out to set a record.
Setting the proceedings in motion, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Hriday Narain Dixit said such a session was never held in parliamentary history. "It's unfortunate that opposition leaders, who agreed for the session, are not present. Probably they did not remember that they had given consent for the session," Dixit said.
During the session lawmakers will discuss sustainable development goals set at the United Nations, as well as Gandhi's life and vision. "We will boycott this session which has been called only to set a record," Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu said, lashing out at the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state.
SP spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury said the party had other plans for October 2 and it will not attend the session.
The BJP's former ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar claimed the BJP government is organising the session only for making it to the Guinness world records". "The BJP is not concerned about the people. The motive behind holding the special session is only to set a record," he alleged.
The UN's sustainable development goals relate to poverty alleviation, gender inequality elimination, malnutrition, health for all, energy for all, education for all, nutrition, drinking water and gender equality.