The Opposition women members took to The Mall, violating Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and chanted slogans against the Punjab government and the treasury members and demanded justice.
Their demonstration was fuelled by the participation of women activists of an NGO which all in chorus demanded de-seating of the Unification Bloc member Shiekh Alauddin and registration of a criminal case against him. Sajida Mir and others also staged a sit-in for some time while demonstration of the opposition ladies kept traffic on The Mall suspended for quite some time.
They also warned of moving the Supreme Court against Alauddin if his membership was not cancelled. The ladies were however brought inside the Assembly premises through the Committee led by Provincial Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran, which was appointed by the Chair to get their return to the House.
As counterblast, the treasury ladies also staged a walk out against the other side. An elderly member Mahmooda Cheema complained that she was maltreated and beaten by the opposition members last day when she went to them to calm down the situation. She said PML-Q member Samina Khawar Hayat had hit her with a shoe which was produced before the Speaker but no action had been initiated against Samina. The members moved out of the House demanding action against Samina and chanted slogans against the opposition while sitting on the Assembly stairs.
Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan formed two committees, comprising members on both sides, to bring the ladies back but they failed upon which the Chair announced to form a joint committee to sort out the matter.
The session, which started with Speaker Rana Muhammad Khan in the Chair, clearly felt ramifications because of the highly unpleasant situation of the previous day when the opposition and the treasury crossing all limits fell out with each other, exchanged slurs, invectives, hurled shoes and shunned every norm of decency on the floor of the House over some objectionable remarks passed by the members on both sides, for which the chair had to suspend the entry of the three members namely Shiekh Alauddin of the Unification Bloc, Naseem Khawaja of the PML-N and Seemal Kamran of the PLM-Q for the session.
Earlier the session, which had to take general debate on the budget, at the very outset dipped into a sad situation when PML-Q’s Parliamentary leader in the House Ch Zaheeruddin speaking on a point of order announced to boycott of the session for two days grousing that Alauddin had used nasty and abusive language against their ladies but the punishment awarded to him was below the offence he committed.
He named Abdul Razzaq Dhillon of the treasury for action as Dhillon was one who had actually ignited the situation passing very indecent remarks. Defending Seemal Kamran, whose arrival in the Assembly despite her suspension had caused the freefall on Thursday, Zaheer said, she did not know the Speaker’s order and had she been intimated by any means, she would not have come to the Assembly. He said Alauddin committed a serious offence and deserved to be punished accordingly.
Another opposition member Ehsanul Haq Nolathia blamed the Law Minister Rana Sana for inciting and keeping burning the tussle between the two sides under a planning. After that Mahmooda Cheema told the tale of the treatment she had at the hand of the opposition women. The women legislators, on both sides, staged a walk out.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said protest was a part of democracy and the opposition demonstration going out of the limit was not new to the democratic states. However he stressed for sorting out the issue and putting the house back to the peaceful proceedings.
Taking part in the general debate, Ehsanul Haq Nolathia spoke against the supplementary budget to the tune of Rs57 billion which was in fact the unspent ADP amount of Rs220 billion of the last budget. He said no head had been prescribed under which the supplementary budget was spent, adding that cutting the approved health and education budget of the last year, the money was spent on laptops and Rapid Bus Transit System which were not carried by the House.
He also lamented that only Rs two billion of the allocated Rs nine billion for energy sector, was spent and the rest of the amount was shifted to other projects not approved by the House, as a result of which not a single unit of electricity was produced in the Punjab although unlimited generation of power was allowed to the province. He also blasted the government for spending supplementary budget in violation of the 17 situations prescribed in the rules.
Ch Ali Ashgar Manda of PML-N eulogised the Punjab budget and turned down the impression that the Punjab government deliberately failed to produce energy. Rather it was the federal government that did not timely issue the NOC for the power plants, he added. He said not a single penny was spent from the supplementary budget except in emergency, floods and other contingencies to prove his point.
Rana Munawar Ghous in his address wanted details of the budget to be presented before the House. He said a huge amount was spent on police but law and order situation remained at the lowest ebb. He stressed amending the Police Order to make it easy for the people to get investigation of the cases changed. He voiced for improving basic health units and public schools by providing them due facilities.
The treasury appeared in the mood to wind up the debate the same day as most of the speakers on the list was not present in the House. One of the members on the opposition side told the House that winding up general debate in a day had never been precedent and pointed out quorum which on counting was found short of the required number. The chair gave five-minute time to meet the quorum but it remained short of number upon which the session was adjourned till next day.