LAHORE - Seeing the inability of the Treasury to keep the quorum intact twice, Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan on Monday virtually started acting as Chief Whip when the government benches were trying to get through the Ali Institute of Education Lahore Bill from the House. This has happened despite the fact Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was present in the Assembly premises. Later, Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan maintained that it was incidental that the quorum could not be kept intact. Moreover, the official spokes person said the MPAs were discussing the development projects with Shahbaz Sharif; hence they were stuck up in the CMs chamber, and could not attend to the Assembly proceedings. Interestingly, the government is yet to appoint Chief Whip and his deputies. Traditionally, the Chief Whip - supported by Deputy CW and Assistant CW - has the role in party politics whose primary purpose is to ensure control of the formal decision-making process in a parliamentary legislature. They are the party 'enforcers, who typically offer both inducements and punishments to party members. In modern times, most Whips are concerned primarily with ensuring a desired attendance for an important vote. Because legislatures typically only require a majority of the quorum in attendance, a majority party can be outvoted if a large number of its legislators are absent and the Opposition is in full attendance. An important part of a government Whips job is to ensure that this situation never arises, but it all happened. Even quick moves around by the Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Rana Sana and others in search of their members did not help the Treasurys cause. Earlier, the Opposition benches, with Sardar Mohsin Khan Leghari vociferously asking the Treasury to follow the Assemblys rule of procedure for the Bill since the Governor had sent it back to the Assembly for bringing a few amendments, pointed out the quorum at about 7pm when the Treasury was making all-out efforts at getting the Bill through the House without paying heed to Legharis suggestions. Counting was done and it was asserted that the numerical figure of 93 had been achieved, but it was not the case since the quorum was falling short by two members. The restart of the proceedings, being an obvious duty of the Speaker, was done without explicit mention by the Chair in this regard. The Opposition through its leader Ch Zaheer-ud-Din maintained that it wanted that the proceedings should be completed, but it was not being done fairly. We have the right to challenge the counting, but we did not, he mentioned. At the resumption of the business, led by Ch Zaheer, the Opposition staged a token walkout protesting over the alleged 'total failure of the government in providing security to PML-Q candidate and Chief Awami Muslim League Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed. They (the PML-N) wanted to avoid contesting polls on the pretext of the deteriorated law and order situation, he added. To this, Rana Sana condemned the incident, but he accused the Opposition of indulging in point scoring. He assured the House that the truth would be told to the members once the investigation would be completed. While giving no specifics about the assailants, he said these seemed to be the terrorists, who were carrying out nefarious activities throughout Pakistan. When the Treasury tried again to get through the Bill, the Opposition pointed out the quorum for the second time, and the Treasury was left with no choice, but to keep mum when the Speaker had to reluctantly adjourn the House till (Tuesday) 10am. At one point when the bells were rang for five minutes, the Speaker went to the extent of announcing, One minute is left, all present in the corridor, should come to the floor. Earlier, the Speaker was found supportive to Provincial Minister Auqaf Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi, who, like his other Minister colleagues, had presented a poor show of his capabilities as he utterly failed in giving satisfactory answers to the MPAs. Rana Iqbal even went to the extent of putting words in Qureshis mouth, but it did not help them in the cause, as members from both sides of the political divide remained dissatisfied over Ministers performance. In order to save Ministers skin, Rana Iqbal even shifted the blame on to the bureaucracy for wrong answers. The Speaker again repeated his warning through a ruling that stern action must be taken against the officials who had misguided the House. However, so far no change is visible in either Ministers or officials attitude towards the highest house of the province, where correct information should be passed on to the MPAs. Nevertheless, the Opposition members have started explicitly complaining about Rana Iqbals behaviour, since the former believe that the Speaker should have non-partisan posture.