KARACHI - The opposition in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday staged a walkout from the House while opposition leader torn the copies of the agenda as a protest against the “uncalled-for” attitude of the deputy speaker.

They warned to boycott the assembly proceedings and stage sit-in at the stairs of the assembly building if they were not allowed to speak in the House.

The uproar started when the MQM member Sabir Qaimkhani wanted to speak in the house after the chair rejected his privilege motion in the speaker’s chamber against the secretary local bodies.

The deputy speaker, who was presiding over the session, unheeded Mr Qaimkhani when he tried to raise the issue about rejection on his privilege motion in the House.

Upon which, opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that it was unfortunate that house was never carrying opposition’s business for the last many sessions. He added that the opposition was not coming into the house to carry only the government business. “If we (opposition) are not allowed to speak in the House, we will lodge protest outside the house and before speaker’s chamber,” he warned.

Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza said that according to assembly rules, the speaker has the right to reject any resolution or motion in his chamber or in the House.

Senior MQM leader Syed Sardar Ahmed observed that it was not appropriate that motion of concerned mover was rejected without hearing him. Another MQM member Muhammad Hussain said that some assembly rules have the resemblance of dictatorship.

Izharul Hassan while addressing the deputy speaker said, “We (opposition) would approach the apex court against your (Chair) attitude. We would not accept your dictatorship. Your behaviour is discriminatory and biased with all opposition members,” he maintained.

In the meantime, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mahendaro rose in his seat and explained that under assembly rules and procedure, the speaker has some discretionary power and he (speaker) could reject motion of any member and then assembly secretariat has to inform the member through letter about reasons of it.

Mr Mahendaro said it was not correct that opposition was not allowed to speak in the house adding that on private members’ day the house passed many resolutions and a bill of opposition members.

Khawaja Izhar said that privilege motion of his colleague was against secretary local bodies and not against Chief Minister or Governor.

 He said secretary local bodies’ has insulted the opposition member.

Argument and counter arguments continued between opposition and the chair for some time and both side kept on their stances which led the opposition leader to tear the copies of agenda and threw it towards dais and all the opposition members including MQM walkout from the house while chanting slogans.

In the melee, report of the standing committee on Livestock and Fisheries on government Bill No- 17 of 2016-the Sindh Livestock Breeding Bill, 2016 was presented in the house after which the house was adjourned till Friday.

Earlier, the house which was set in motion by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair at 11-14 hours against the scheduled time of 1,000 hours carried call attention notices.

Sindh Minister for Health Dr Sikandar Mahendaro, while replying to a call attention notice, informed the House that under cabinet decision action has started against more than 350 officers who occupied government residences.

PML-F lawmaker Ms Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi, in her call attention notice asked the Minister for SGA&CD, that what action the government has taken all government officers & officials and public representatives, who are retaining the unauthorized and non-policy accommodation, will vacate their houses immediately.

The minister said under cabinet decision notices were issued to 71 gazatted officers. To another call attention notice, Dr Mahendaro said 1.5 million newborns were administered anti measles vaccines across Sindh every year.

PPP member Ghazala Sial asked the Minister for Health about the steps the government was taking to control measles in the province. In absence of opposition benches the house transacted the entire business appearing on orders of the day.