Incidents of scuffle, derogatory language and shoe hurling were witnessed in and outside the assembly
LAHORE: The political temperature of the Punjab Assembly rose up at assembly chambers in general and assembly premises in particular where incidents of scuffle, derogatory language and shoe hurling were witnessed.
For a second consecutive day, the PML-N’s top leadership remained present in the assembly session, ensuring maximum presence of its lawmakers to tackle the situation if the PTI attempt to hold the vote of confidence by suspending the assembly rules.
Before House proceeding
During the session, the PML-N’s lawmakers grilled PTI members and created ruckus in assembly chambers for not carrying out a vote of confidence.
The opposition party MPAs also scuffled with assembly security staffers when PML-N’s Attaullah Tarar’s squad was not allowed to enter into assembly premises owing to the parking space issue.
Tarar leaving his personal vehicle and squad at the main gate of the assembly started walking towards the assembly chamber where he sent his MPAs to take his vehicles inside the assembly premises. PML-N MPAs using abusive language and pushing the assembly staffers drove their vehicles inside the assembly premises.
The PML-N lawmakers claimed that their vehicles were stopped on the orders of Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi who wanted to make Punjab Assembly a “no go area” having fear of losing the chief ministership.
After House proceedings
After attending House proceedings as Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah was leaving the assembly premises, a man who is stated to be the driver of a PTI’s provincial minister threw his shoe at Sana’s vehicle which hit the windscreen. He also chanted slogans “Chor Chor” [thief] as a result of which the PML-N MPAs thrashed him.
However, the assembly security caught him.
As the House proceedings commenced under chair of Speaker Muhammad Sibtain Khan, both PTI and PML-N lawmakers were at loggerheads over seeking point of order, to speak, from the speaker. PML-N’s Khalil Tahir Sindhu snubbed a PTI lawmaker over interrupting him continuously.
Lawmakers from both benches stood up and started lambasting each other. MPA Khalil said their members were in majority in the previous sitting (held on January 9) but even then the government ignored their voice “No” while passing legislation. PML-N’s former speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan also expressed his concern on the same issue. PML-N’s Rana Mashhood Khan challenged the PTI to take a vote of confidence if it (PTI) has the required number.
Provincial minister for parliamentary affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja said “process of voting” is not new for PTI and they were just waiting for court’s verdict on the matter.
PML-N lawmakers seemed so aggressive when PTI lawmaker Zaheer Abbas Khokhar came down hard on the presence of Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in the guest gallery.
Addressing the interior minister, Khokhar questioned in what capacity he (Sanaullah) is sitting in the guest gallery section and later walked out of the assembly in protest.
PTI’s provincial minister Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said Interior Minister Sanaullah is present in the assembly merely to destabilise the provincial government. “But PTI will foil every move of the PML-N in a similar way when PML-N’s twenty ‘lotas’ [turncoats] lost by-elections in Punjab.”
After a short prayer break, Deputy Speaker Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi adjourned the House proceedings till January 11 at 3pm.
Parliamentary party meeting
The PML-N in its parliamentary party meeting directed its MPAs to approach the Lahore High Court on January 11 (Wednesday) to attend the proceeding of a larger bench which will be hearing on CM Elahi’s petition challenging the governor’s order’s on confidence vote.
The lawmakers were also strictly directed to remain present in Lahore until the matter of vote of confidence is resolved.