KARACHI   -   In view of the prolonged deadlock between the treasury and opposition in Sindh Assembly over the chairmenship of standing committees including the Public Account Committee, the ruling party on Friday decide to use second option of election for the members and chairmen of standing committees.

The development came on Friday as both the ruling party and opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly have been stuck to their stance and not ready to give an inch.

Acting SA Speaker Rehana Leghari nnounced the schedule for election of the standing committees and other committees as laid down in the rules.

According to a release from assembly secretariat, the notice forms for nomination of the standing and the other committees could be obtained from Monday, March 18, from office of the SA secretary from 9am to 3pm and would be submitted on the same day from 4pm to 6pm.

The election of the standing committees and other committees will be held on Wednesday - March 20, - from 10am to 5pm.

In normal circumstances, it is a tradition that both sides agree over the chairmanships of the standing committee. However, in current scenario, the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee has become a bone of contention between the two sides and none of them is ready to give it to the other.

Therefore the government has announced to use second option that is of conducting polls for the election of members of standing committees.

According to rules of the business of the assembly, the committee members could be elected as agreed by the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition. However, if an agreement is not reached, an election would take place for choosing 11 members each of the 34 standing committees of the house. As per rule 163 of the assembly rules, in case of election, the members of each Committee shall be elected by the Assembly from amongst its members according to the principle of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

The chairman of the committee would later be elected from the votes of the 11 members of that committee.

Earlier in the day, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani convened the meeting of the business advisory committee of the provincial assembly in the absence of the joint opposition comprising Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Grand Democratic Alliance. The business advisory meeting was headed by speaker and attended by members of the treasury including Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Sohrab Sarki, Saeed Ghani and Shamim Mumtaz while members of opposition from TLP and MMA also participated in it.

The speaker while chairing the meeting said that the opposition parties have complained for not summoning the business advisory meeting but when the meeting is called they refused to participate in it.

“The opposition has raised its reservations over formation of the advisory committee without identifying the loopholes,” he claimed.

He, however, said that they have decided to give one more chance to the opposition parties to participate in it. “I will ask the Sindh government to reach out to them and ask to participate in the meeting,” he said, adding that when they could participate in the select committee meeting a day before then why not in the advisory committee meeting.

MMA lawmaker Abdul Rasheed who attended the meeting while narrating about the proceedings, said that the speaker received a letter from PTI Parliamentary Leader Haleem Adil Shaikh informing that they could not participate in the meeting due to their ongoing protest against the provincial government.

“I, however, intervened and asked the provincial authorities to give opposition parties a chance so that they could also have their input in the agenda of the house,” he said.

Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi while talking to The Nation said that they have anticipated this earlier that the Sindh government would violate the basic democratic rules and use elections of standing committees as tool to deprive them of chairmanship of the committees.

“As per the rules of business of the assembly, despite having a 40 percent mandate of the province, they will not be unable to acquire even a single chairman through polls,” he said and asked “is this the democracy that PPP and its top leadership talks about.”

He said that the major bone of contention between them is on the public accounts committee, which the PPPP is not ready to give to them at any cost.

“Is this happens in any democracy. How a person could carry out his own audit?” he questioned and claimed that even Bilawal Bhutto has termed PAC chairman as right of the opposition parties.

He ruled out any progress between opposition and treasury over the issue without resolving the PAC chairman issue and warned if any unilateral decision is taken, the opposition would not sit back and use all its options.

He although announced not to take part in the polls for the standing committees but said that the both sides are in talks and anything could happen.

Speaking about absence from business advisory meeting, the opposition leader said that they have conveyed their reservations over formation of the committee.

“The PPPP has six members in the committee along with two members of TLP and MMA, who also supports them while the remaining opposition parties including PTI, MQM-P and GDA has one each lawmaker in the committee,” he informed.

He proposed that all parties should have equal representation.