Thursday June 13, 2024

Mayhem in house: Punjab MPAs shout slogans, slam agenda copies

Session begins with only 25 govt and 56 lawmakers of opposition present inside Punjab Assembly

By Azam Malik
January 10, 2023
Members are seen sitting inside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on January 10, 2023. — Screengrab via Geo News
Members are seen sitting inside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on January 10, 2023. — Screengrab via Geo News

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly once again bore the brunt of the rising political temperature as the session began after a three-hour-long delay.

Today, the assembly’s proceedings turned into a ruckus as opposition members slammed copies of the agenda on the benches causing a commotion.

Under the chair of Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan, the session began with only 25 lawmakers of the government and 56 of the opposition being present inside the legislative.

A day earlier, opposition parties raised slogans in the house, urging Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to take a vote of confidence. The last session also started with a delay of two hours and twenty minutes.

The opposition protested against the chief minister for not taking the vote of confidence. Slogans were also raised by the treasury members against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Attaullah Tarar, who were present in the assembly on Monday as well.

During today's session, the situation turned rough when the opposition began raising slogans, and those on the ruling seats retorted at them.

“Opposition should respond to Hamza Shehbaz’s corruption,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Sardar Shahabuddin Khan Sehir said while shaming the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) members.

Meanwhile, Mian Mehmood-Ur-Rasheed of PTI also criticised the interior minister, who was seated in the lobby and later barred from entering the assembly.

“Our government is established and will [complete its tenure],” the PTI politician said, after which the speaker adjourned the session for 15 minutes.

Later, when the session resumed, PTI leader Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar slammed the PML-N for resorting to "oppression and brutality" in Punjab.

“[We] demand an account for the killing of innocent children,” he said, seeking justice for the victims of the Model Town incident. He also demanded a response to the attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“Criminals are sitting in the lobby, so I’m walking out,” he said departing the legislative in protest.

Following the incessant chaos in the house, the session was adjourned till 3pm January 11 (Wednesday).

Meanwhile, PTI’s Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry censured his party’s dissident provincial lawmaker Momina Waheed for being a "turncoat" for Rs50 million.

“Despite Momina’s departure, we still have 188 numbers,” he said during a press conference in Lahore. The former federal minister said that his party’s members are getting calls from “unknown numbers”.

“Attempt is being made to change the loyalties of our assembly members through bribes. It is requested from the army chief that investigation of these matters is necessary,” the politician said.