LAHORE - Believe it or not, Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi surely has the magical powers to see what others cannot sense through a naked eye.

During Thursday’s Assembly session, the Speaker saw some of the opposition members dancing on the Assembly floor. But this was revealed only on the Speaker as nobody else could see this ‘dance performance’.

And it was evident by his utterances that he did not like their dance. Media persons sitting in the Press Gallery and the Assembly members had serious doubts on their senses when Speaker pronounced all of a sudden that he had watched their dance with great patience.

“I have tolerated your dance and now you show the courage to listen to what I have to say”, the Speaker asked Azma Zahid Bokhari of the PML-N who had questioned his political demeanor manifested in the form of an interview and media talks outside the Assembly. She was critical of Speaker’s conduct which she said was not impartial in any way. 

Since the opposition members were dead sure nobody from among them had taken even a single dance step, they raised alarm over Speaker’s remark which they thought was quite insulting. They believed the Speaker had in mind the women lawmakers of the PML-N when he uttered the word “Dance”.

Leader of the Opposition Hamza Shehbaz Sharif also protested over Speaker’s comment, saying he should have been careful about choice of words. “We have ladies on both sides of the aisle and we must give them due respect.”, he told the Chair.

Nonetheless, the political fight inside the Assembly came to an end after a sensible speech by Hamza Shehbaz Sharif cooled down the tempers on both sides of the political divide. He conducted himself well in a situation when the tempers were high and the Speaker had enough justification to prorogue the session. The political maturity with which he defused a highly explosive situation showed that he had come of age. It was mainly due to his conduct of a mature parliamentarian that House completed day’s agenda though minor bickering continued throughout the proceeding.

The first Question Hour in the new Assembly was quite interesting. For the first time, the PTI ministers were facing questions from an opposition which sat on the treasury benches until few months back. The ministers, however, cleverly put the ball in Opposition’s court every time they sought time frame to fix the things in government departments. Strangely enough, the opposition members in their questions were also seeking explanations from the ministers for the wrongs done in their tenure in power. 

But unlike the ex-ministers of the PML-N, the PTI ministers came well prepared. Successive attempts by Mian Naseer Ahmad and other PML-N members to baffle them failed mainly because they had done their home work. Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal put a bold face against a volley of supplementary questions coming from the opposition benches.