LAHORE   -   The Punjab Assembly witnessed rumpus on Thursday with treasury and opposition legislators resorting to sloganeering.

The Opposition strongly protested against the chair for not allowing Sheikh Allauddin to respond to the allegations of Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal. The opposition legislators tore apart copies of agenda and besieged the Speaker’s podium. They chanted slogans of ‘Go Niazi Go’. The treasury legislators responded with the slogans of ‘Shehbaz Sharif Chor’ and ‘Hamza Shehbaz Chor’.

The session started one hour and 28 minutes behind the schedule with Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the chair.

After conducting proceedings for about half an hour, he left the chair for Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari.

Speaking on supplementary budget, Mian Aslam Iqbal accused the previous regime of using funds for winning by-polls. He said that the previous regime issued cheques to son in law of Shehbaz Sharif without any reason. Unlike the past, he said, all the expenses had been clearly mentioned in the supplementary budget. “How can you criticize the supplementary budget when the PML-N itself had presented so many. These supplementary budget allocations were used to win by-elections, to promote mafias, to promote corruption and make money. Who promoted sugar mafia, cement mafia or steel mafia”, he raised the question. He offered legislators to check details available on the given documents.

Deputy Speaker did not allow Sh Allauddin to respond to the allegations of the minister. He argued with the chair that he should given floor like the minister as it was his right to respond to the allegations. He went on to say that he would resign if he failed to prove the minister wrong. Despite insistence from Malik Ahmed Khan and other Opposition legislators, Deputy Speaker did not allow Sh Allauddin to speak, saying he would be given floor on his turn. He said that no one could dictate him.

Infuriated Opposition legislators stood up, gathered in front of Speaker’s podium and tore apart copies of agenda. They chanted slogans of ‘Go Niazi Go’ and ‘Aleema Baji Chor Hai’. Treasury legislators responded with slogans against Sharifs.

Calm restored when the chair gave floor to Malik Ahmed Khan who delivered speech listened in pin drop silence. He suggested the treasury members to inform the House about own achievements and not the misdeeds of the previous regime. “If your only job is to tell what the previous government did, then why are you there for”, he asked his colleagues on the treasury benches.

“Yes, the PML-N presented supplementary budgets. PTI continued accusing the government of financial indiscipline. Now it (PTI) has overspent Rs90 billion. What kind of discipline is this”, he raised the question. “How can two models of austerity (the Chief Minister and Governor House) ask for additional Rs160 million and Rs80 million respectively”, he said, adding, it was a mockery of so-called austerity. The advocate general office, where an army of lawyers was making political cases against opposition, he said, was asking for another Rs560 million. The previous regime was overspending on development, not on wasteful expenditures, he said.

Minister for Education Murad Raas accused the Opposition members of making hue and cry to due to grilling from leadership for silence om passage of budget. “Yesterday, Rs2.3 trillion budget was passed in 20 minutes. The Opposition did not care. Today, it is making hue and cry on only Rs90 allocation,” he said. He accused the previous regime of spending huge money on projects like roads, bridges and metros instead of providing clean drinking water to the masses. The PTI, he said, would spend money on human resource development and social sector.

On completion of time, the chair adjourned the session till Friday (today) at 3pm.