As the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Parvez Elahi’s vote of confidence was not on the schedule for the assembly session on Monday, opposition in the Punjab Assembly (PA) caused a commotion that rocked the entire building.
As the opposition tore up agenda documents and briefly surrounded PA Speaker Sibtain Khan’s podium, members of the ruling coalition were forced to get up from their seats and start yelling insults at Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and PM’s Special Assistant Atta Ullah Tarar. “Mr Tarar should be arrested as he is sought by PA’s privilege committee,” PTI MPA Rana Shehbaz stated. The assembly session nevertheless managed to enact 21 laws despite all the commotion.
The demand was made despite the fact that the vote of confidence process was not on the schedule for today’s session, which got underway after a two-hour delay.
Balighur Rehman, the governor of Punjab, had stated on December 19 that the chief minister did not have the backing of a majority of the house, necessitating a vote of confidence on December 21 within 48 hours. He also ordered that an assembly meeting be called for this reason.
The governor de-notified the CM after Elahi disobeyed the order, and the latter then filed a lawsuit against the governor in the Lahore High Court (LHC). The court set January 11 as the next date for hearing the matter and granted a stay of proceedings against the de-notification.
The session was presided over by PA Speaker Sibtain Khan, and attendees included Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, and PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar.
Chaos broke out as the opposition ripped up schedule documents and the treasury benches screamed anti-interior minister chants. The speaker’s dais was at one point surrounded by opposition legislators as well.
In the midst of the uproar, PML-N MP Rana Mashhood declared the proceedings to be unlawful, claiming that the Punjab cabinet members weren’t present and that the session went against the court’s orders.
He asserted that the government was in the minority in the House and would go on January 11. “Prove to us that your figures are complete. It is a challenge for you.”