The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government in the Punjab Assembly (PA) on Thursday failed to move a resolution against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led federal coalition government over the energy crisis as the treasury benches could not maintain the quorum.
The 36th session of the Punjab Assembly, summoned on the request of the Punjab government, commenced with a two-hour delay at 5 pm.
Before the session, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, while talking with the media outside the assembly building said that the chief minister had decided in a meeting at his office on 90 Shahra-i-Quaid-i-Azam that a resolution will be moved against the federal government.
He said this session would be the “voice of the workers” who lost their jobs due to incessant power outages and industries that had been shut down. He said this was the first time the province had faced more than 20 hours of power load shedding.
He said that the Punjab province had a recovery rate of 99 per cent for power dues and around 12 per cent line losses, which was far better than other provinces. Despite all this, he said, the province had been thrown in to darkness.
“Zardari’s government is deliberately hatching conspiracies to make these fields a desert,” he said.
He said that 700 MW of electricity was being given to Karachi per day without any contract. This, he asserted, was the “pure right” of the Punjab.
He said that the PML-N’s resolution would condemn the federal government for its unequal distribution of electricity.
Raja Riaz, the PPP opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, said that his party had decided to ask the chief justice of Pakistan to take a suo moto notice of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s rebellious attitude against the federation. He accused Sharif of provoking the people of the Punjab to ransack government properties.
PML-N MPAs protest
Despite a ban on rallies on The Mall under Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code, PML-N lawmakers gathered outside the CM’s office after a party meeting and chanted slogans against the federal government.
After reaching the assembly, the lawmakers staged a sit-in on its stairs and delivered speeches against the Centre and the corrupt leaders.
Some PML-N members also vowed to organise public gatherings in this regard.
Inside the House
During the session that lasted for around two hours, Parliamentary Secretary on Local Government Chaudhry Abdul Razzaq Dhillon replied to questions about his department.
Amid loud noise and thumping of the desks by the PPP lawmakers, Dhillon dragged the federal government’s failure to produce electricity in most of his answers.
After the question hour, when the treasury benches were preparing to bring the resolution, PPP lawmakers boycotted the session. Just then PPP MPA Sajida Mir point out the quorum and the speaker adjourned the session till Friday at 3pm.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2012.