LAHORE – The Punjab Assembly session, which was supposed to drop its proceedings on the account of demise of PML-N MPA Amir Hayat Khan Rokhri, on Thursday went through the worst sort of rumpus in the House on the issue of development funds for the Opposition members.

The combined opposition of PPP and PML(Q) not only targeted Law Minister Rana Sanalluh but also refused to calm down till the Minister was turned out of the House as the rivals benches had felt deeply offended by Sana’s remark that no funds could be released to the Opposition on dhonse, dabao ya badmashi.

The 45-minutes proceedings of the sessions was almost consumed by the uproar created by both divide in attack and counter attack of arguments sandwiched by the abortive attempts of the Speaker to control the situation. ‘Order order, order in the House, order please, sit down, please listen to me, no no’ were the utterances of the Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal which fell on the deaf ears of the Opposition benches whose shouts, sloganeering against the Rana, desk thumping and rough attitude lent the house look of a fish market. They kept on shouting despite the death of their colleague.

The session started an hour beyond the fixed time of 10:00am. At the outset of the proceedings, the Opposition apparently in a premeditated plan raised the issue of Rs 80 lakh development funds for its members reminding that the Law Minister had promised to the release the same within a week but no headway came through so far. The Chair, which in fact wanted to adjourn the house till next day on account of death of Rokhri, was prevailed upon by the Opposition Leader Raja Riaz who added the CM had also committed to give the due. He alleged treasury was going to bulldoze everything which had to benefit the Opposition. The Speaker on it required the Law Minister to present next day a complete report as to the contact made by DCO with the Members in connection with the development schemes.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, however, said the issue was not a part of the House proceedings as such it could not be discussed. He said it was amicability of the members that funds were given to the Opposition members which would otherwise not be made available to them through dhons, ghundagardi yan dabao. He asked the Opposition to count for Rs 70 million received by the Prime Minister for development purpose and challenged the rivals to do whatever they want to get the funds. This incited the Opposition to a serious protest and the House was filled with loud shouts, slogans and beating of question-books on the desk. The Opposition led by Shaukat Basra took to a long chorus demanding the chair to turn the Minister out of the House and the treasury countered them. Basra said they would not let the House proceed on unless the Law Minister behaves well.

When the Speaker was helpless he called in the Opposition Leader Raja Riaz and asked him calm down his members. The Speaker presented his testimony that Law Minster had promised to release the funds and the words from the Chairs really made the Opposition turn to the side of Speaker in whose respect they begun to shout in favour of the Speaker. This unique show of support for the Speaker provoked Law Minister to warn the Speaker that the eulogising phase of the Opposition was momentary as it will soon begin to speak against the chair.

“The Opposition attitude is the product of it what has received as training during the nine years of Pervez Musharraf”, Rana added. This made the Opposition to slogans even more strongly against the Minister and it did not come to a rest till the Speaker announced that before the start of session next day (Friday) he would meet both sides in his chamber to sort out the issue.