Lahore-The important-awaited session of the Punjab Assembly (PA) with a no-confidence stir — filed by PTI and PML-Q MPAs against — on the docket was suspended till 1130 am on May 16 (Monday) without tabling of the resolution.
PA Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who was supposed to convene the session, called off the sitting at around 11 am, half an hour before it was supposed to begin.
“In exercise of the powers vested in me under rule 25 (b) of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997, I, Parvez Elahi, Speaker, Provincial Assembly of Punjab, hereby order that the coming sitting of the 40th Session of Punjab Assembly will now be held on Monday, 16th May 2022 at 1130 am in Assembly Chambers, Lahore, rather of Thursday, 28th April 2022 at 1130 am,” an announcement, issued by the speaker said.
The voting moment was to be held through a secret ballot amid strict security arrangements. No MPA had been allowed to bring his/ her mobile phone into the House. Women lawgivers had been barred from carrying their handbags on the bottom, and guests had also not been allowed to witness Thursday’s session.
On the other hand, PML-N administrative and PTI iconoclastic lawgivers held a common meeting to chalk out a strategy for Thursday’s PA session. Of the 197 votes Hamza polled to come to the CM, 26 were from the PTI’s dissentients belonging to the Tareen, Aleem, and Asad Khokhar groups.
“ The PML-N, PPP, and PTI’s iconoclastic lawgivers have decided to support Mazari to balk at the resolution against him,” a PML-N MPA told after the meeting.
Security at the assembly ahead of the moment’s meeting was beefed up after the PA session on April 16 witnessed unknown violence allegedly leaving numerous injured, including Speaker Elahi and PTI MPA Asia Amjad. The House, still, ended up taking Hamza Shehbaz, leader of the opposition in the House and the son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, as the chief minister amid a boycott by PTI and PML-Q lawgivers.
Mazari, who was allegedly roped in on his side by Hamza ahead of the election, had initiated the assembly proceedings from a guest lobby in the hall over a megaphone and read out the docket and rules for the election of the chief minister. Police and anti-riot forces had taken positions inside the House, while women MPAs sat over the speaker’s tribune and chanted taglines.
Elahi had claimed that all the powers delegated to the deputy speaker were void as soon as the Punjab Assembly session ended on April 16.
PA Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti said the deputy speaker called the deputy manager and the operations deputy inspector general of police, who summoned a heavy contingent of law enforcers despite the fact that only the sergeants-at-arms had the powers to step on the bottom of the House.
“ Mazari conducted the election process from the Officers’ Box with a megaphone, which was contrary to the assembly rules and procedures,” he maintained.