AAMER WAQAS, MUBASHIR HASSAN and ABRAR SAEED ISLAMABAD/LAHORE The National Assembly on Friday witnessed one of the worst rumpuses in its parliamentary history that too on the budget day when the whole nation and 'interested-in-Pakistan people across the globe wanted to listen to the budget speech unfortunately made inaudible to television viewers and guests sitting in the gallery. However, the PPP and coalition parliamentarians had the luxury of using headphones, while the Opposition was not interested in the speech at all. Despite noise and unseated MNAs, the PPP men played cool, and did not react to 'anything. When the Opposition was making noise, federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez became totally indiscernible. Seeing this, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani gestured his party-men to wear headphones and start desk thumping to appreciate good points of the budget. Sources confided that the budget speech was changed at the last minute, and that was why it was not made available to the media. In addition to this, it was surely the shortest of all speeches made during the post-military rules, perhaps due to two reasons - the budget was out in the morning and the distracted finance minister gave it an abrupt ending. For the last three budgetary years, it used to be all peaceful since PML-N remained committed to keeping PPP in power, but this year, it retracted. Hence PPP tasted the newly-galvanised Opposition in the National Assembly. When the show started, PML-N MPs gathered in front of the PA speakers seat, raised slogans and made hullabaloo throughout the budget speech. Even some of the lady MPs of N-League threw their bangles on the federal finance minister during the speech while PML-N Central Secretary Information Ehsan Iqbal walked up to Abdul Hafeez and presented him a chapatti to record his partys protest against what they termed the sham and anti-masses budget. On the other hand the treasury members kept on extending support to their finance minister by thumping desks, who without showing any nervousness to the uproar and agitation of N-League, delivered his budget speech and read an Urdu couplet to conclude his speech telling the opposition that such tactics on their part would not deter him. The budget session was late well over an hour and as soon as Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza invited the finance minister to take the floor, PML-N MP Kh Asif rose to his seat and asked the chair to let him speak on a point of order. When he was reminded by the speaker about the rules that no business during the budget session could be taken up, the rest of the N-League MPs rose to their seats and started chanting slogans against the government. Amid the uproar and hullabaloo, the speaker invited the finance minister to present budget before the house and, oblivious of the unrest around him, he started his speech and concluded it with the same pace. The N-Leaguers gathered in front of the speakers seat and started chanting slogans terming the government as corrupt, incompetent and plunderers. The opposition members continued desk thumping in chorus, followed by continuous sloganeering shame, shame, US stooges/slaves, US slavery intolerable, corrupt govt unacceptable, give honour to judiciary, stop telling lies, IMF budget unacceptable, stop drone attacks, and corrupt ministers unacceptable. During the protest Ms Tahmina Doultana got so emotional that she took off her bangles and threw them on the rostrum of the finance minister but she was quickly pushed back by Khurshid Shah who kept on standing between the prime minister and the opposition MPs to prevent any misbehaviour of N-Leaguers with the PM. The other opposition parties stayed away from PML-N protest and only PML-Q MNA Marvi Memon joined them with copies of the budget documents in her hands but she was prevented by another Q-League member Shahnaz Sheikh from throwing the same on the finance minister. The Q-League like-minded MPs, PPP-S and JUI-F members did not join N-League agitation. After the speech, some of them commented that N-League should have recorded their protest by staging a walk out instead of creating nasty scenes in the National Assembly against the very dignity of the parliament. The N-League was all set to not let the government smooth sailing during the budget session and that was the reason they had boycotted the house business advisory committees meeting of both the National Assembly and the Senate. They had also informed Khurshid Shah that they would lodge a strong protest.