Just like a day before in the National Assembly when legislators came to blows, the proceedings in the Punjab Assembly on Friday were also disappointing. The Punjab Assembly failed to complete the agenda of the day as lack of quorum triggered adjournment of proceedings. The session started 65 minutes late with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair, and only eight members, all from the treasury, present. Lawmakers trickled in, but not enough to form a quorum.

The leader of the opposition and the speaker both condemned the disorderliness in the NA, although both held the other side responsible. Items on the agenda of real legislative matters took a back seat, as they usually do. There were only 13 legislators in house to hear the Health Minister’s speech. As many as four adjournment motions were kept pending for debate next time. These motions related to extremely important issues of public health, drug use in universities and food safely. While national matters of the Panama Leaks and mega-corruption scandals occupy the time of most legislators, these are the real issues of governance that really impact the masses, and the protection the state can offer them is through good legislation.

Legislators from both sides of the political divide at the PA raised slogans against each other’s leadership, wasting more time in expelling hot air.

The opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed (PTI), on a point of order, asked the speaker about the progress on a reference they had filed against Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, seeking his disqualification for misuse of authority. Punjab Minster for Law Rana Sanaullah lashed out at the opposition leader, stating that two days were fixed for the health debate, but the opposition was uninterested.

The eviction of the ruling party cannot be the sole aim of the opposition. Laws for public health and social security will be made by the PML-N majority, and the opposition is not interested in keeping a check on these laws to ensure they are in the best interest of the public. The resolution of mega-corruption cases does not put roofs over the heads of people, it is health, food, and education that improves their quality of life. If legislators cannot help their constituents, and cannot resist fist-fights, abuses and walkouts, they should reconsider their political career. Accountability does not only mean that a politician should not be financially corrupt, it also means that they need to be held accountable for their lack of interest in the physical well being of the people of Punjab.