The Uttar Pradesh Assembly witnessed a heated exchange of words between the BJP and Samajwadi Party members on Wednesday, after Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's remarks irked Leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had to intervene, saying unparliamentary words and threats should not be made part of the proceedings as it would set a wrong precedent.
Participating in the discussion on the Governor's address, Mr Maurya said during his speech in the House that Akhilesh Yadav was "praising" the work done in the state when he was the Chief Minister.
"If his work was of any good, people would not have cleaned up the Samajwadi Party's mess in the election," the BJP leader said.
On Akhilesh Yadav's claims of launching various schemes during the Samajwadi Party regime, Mr Maurya said, "The leader of opposition does not get tired of counting the achievements of his five-year tenure. Which disease do you have? If there is any disease, I would say that you get tested."
"I would request that the Leader of the Opposition should get proper treatment from wherever he wants. Get rid of this disease of pasting a sticker of the Samajwadi Party on every scheme. You have been out of power for five years. Now, out again for five more years. Your number will not come for the next 25 years," he added.
Mr Maurya said, "Who has made the roads, the expressway, the metro? It seems all of this has been built by selling your land in Saifai." Irked by these comments, Akhilesh Yadav hit back in a condescending tone, saying "Do you take money from your father to do build roads?" He then heckled the Deputy Chief Minister while Samajwadi Party members also stood behind him.
On Akhilesh Yadav's uproar, Yogi Adityanath had to step in and say, "Using indecent words against a respected leader is not right. I would very politely say to the leader of the opposition that you should not have been so agitated. The question is not of Saifai. The development work that we are getting done or the development work that might have been done during your government was our duty being in the government. The government has the right to declare its achievements."
He further said that "Consent and dissent is the strength of democracy but if the Deputy Chief Minister is making his point, I think we should listen to him. Many things of the leader of the opposition too might be wrong, but we have heard. We will accept what we have to accept and respond to it, but it is not appropriate to display such excitement."
On the Chief Minister's request to remove inappropriate words from the proceedings, Speaker Satish Mahana said he would check the records.
Just a day earlier, there was another face-off with Akhilesh Yadav in the UP Assembly over law and order. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recalled Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav's "boys will be boys" remark on rape.
Opposing death penalty for rape, Akhilesh Yadav's father and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had reportedly said at a rally,"Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys will be boys. Mistakes happen sometimes)".
Replying to Leader of Opposition Akhilesh Yadav's attack over the crime against women, the Chief Minister said, "This is the government of the BJP. Here it's not said that boys will be boys. Mistakes happen sometimes." Any kind of crime is "unforgivable" and the government is taking strict action against criminals, especially those committing crime against women, he said.
During the zero hour, Akhilesh Yadav had referred to the crime against women in UP's Allahabad, Chandauli, Siddharthnagar and Lalitpur, claiming that maximum crimes against women were committed in Uttar Pradesh.
Referring to a girl's rape allegedly by a police officer in Lalitpur, he said the case was registered only after the Chief Minister went there.
Akhilesh Yadav added that the Chief Minister at a meeting said he will set "officers right" and asked them to leave acting like "middlemen". The Chief Minister wasn't aware of it in the past five years, said Akhilesh Yadav in a jibe at Yogi Adityanath.
Yogi Adityanath retorted to Akhilesh Yadav saying, "You support every criminal who spreads anarchy in the state and practise hooliganism."
Appreciating his government, he said in the past five years, better law and order has prevailed. "We got wide public support," he said referring to the BJP numbers in the House.
"For crimes related to women, our government constituted anti-Romeo squads in 2017 and along with it in 2018, POCSO courts were established," he said.
Claiming a reduction in crime under his government, Yogi Adityanath said had the Opposition members listened to the Governor's address, things would have been clear to them.
"When I will reply to the Governor's address, you will clearly know how much crime has come down," he said.
"There was no riot in the past five years. Between 2012 and 2017, there were more than 700 incidents of riots but between 2017 and 2022, there was no riot, no curfew," he added.
Yogi Adityanath said property worth more than Rs 2,000 crore of criminals was confiscated in UP.
"So, whether it is a matter of women's safety or the safety of 25 crore citizens, all these are on a priority for the government," he said.