Switching sides? BSP MLA flirts with BJP, filmi-style
Lucknow, Oct 3: A BSP legislator got some film-style advice from the Speaker as he defied an opposition boycott of the special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
"Jab pyar kiya to darna kya (when in love, have no fear)”, Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit told Mohammad Aslam Raini as the MLA worried if people will think he is joining the ruling BJP. Addressing the session, Raini Thursday said he had listened to his “inner voice” when he decided to attend the assembly. Both Houses of the UP legislature began non-stop 36-hour sittings on Wednesday morning.
The opposition parties boycotted the marathon session, saying the BJP government was out to just set a record. However, Raini, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) founder Shivpal Yadav and Congress MLA Aditi Singh came to the House.
Raini thanked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his initiatives in the state, but added, “If I thank too much, everyone will say I have joined the BJP.” “Don’t be afraid... Jab pyar kiya to darna kya,” the Speaker joked, echoing the line of a song from Mughal-e-Azam and triggering laughter. In his repartee, the MLA recited a line from another song in the same film that suggested that he could be flirting with the idea of switching sides. "Teri mehfil me kismat aajma kar hum bhi dekhenge,” he said.
Roughly translated, it says, “I will try my luck in your gathering as well.” The MLA insisted that he remains with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, but there were indications that he may be having second thoughts. The MLA praised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s booth-level management during elections. "Those who work, win. We stand nowhere before the BJP because an MLA like me is not valued in the party. After losing, blaming the EVMs (electronic voting machines) is not fair," he said.
The MLA said he is “impressed” with schemes run by the BJP government. “I could not sleep yesterday night and came here. I feel sorry for those who are not here," he added. "I am happy that I have highlighted problems of my area and the division. I thank the CM for giving money for the marriage of Muslim girls", he said.
"Had opposition members come here, I think they would have raised shortcoming in the implementation of schemes in their areas and pointed them out to the CM," he said. While speaking on the state government's drive against land mafia, he asked the chief minister to look into a “personal matter”. Some land in his wife’s name has been encroached upon, he said. Without naming Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan, he also urged a relook at the cases lodged against the leader. "I have no hesitation in saying that if there has been law and order, it was in behen' Mayawati's regime and after her it is now in CM Yogi's rule."