Rana-Raja duo mars another PA session


The treasury benches in the Punjab Assembly defended the absence of chief minister from the assembly on Monday and put the whole blame on opposition for being ill-mannered. The blame-game between the treasury and opposition benches marred the whole session. Both the sides blamed each other for not taking the issue of spurious drugs seriously. The opposition made full use of CM’s absence by criticising him openly and holding him responsible for the carnage of PIC drugs and dengue related deaths while the treasury benches tried their best to defend the CM.
The PA session on Monday started with a delay of one hour and 30 minutes under the chair of Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed. Speaking on the point of order, Opposition Leader Raja Riaz said that Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah had promised the other day that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif would come to the House and brief members about the PIC issue. “We have promised to listen the CM’s point of view but once again he is absent. What is the fault of this House and 80 million people of the province?” he questioned.
Responding to Raja Riaz’s point of view, Rana said who had informed the opposition that CM was not interested in the argument regarding the PIC issue. “I have talked to him (CM) and he wanted to come to the House. If the opposition leader has not initiated debate on the issue, how can the CM come to the House? Let the opposition leader deliver his speech first, then the CM would come,” Rana tried to give ‘logic’ of the CM’s absence. He said if session was prorogued today (Monday), we could discuss the matter in next session. It triggered resentment in the opposition benches and they raised slogans of ‘shame, shame’.
Raja Riaz said the treasury benches should accept this reality that the CM did not respect them and took them for granted. “If the law minister is man of principles, he should resign in protest for not being respected by the CM,” Raja Riaz demanded. Rana said no member could be dictated. “We cannot force any member to remain in the House or leave it, as there is no such rule,” Rana said, adding the opposition could not dictate the CM or the government.
On this, Raja Riaz said: “Law Minister is such an influential person that he can murder me and occupy my house. So, how can I dictate him!” Rana said no body could kill Raja. “His own hands are enough for this task.” His remarks caused laughter in the House.
PPP MPA Ashraf Sohna said the chief minister had disgraced this House by claiming that he (CM) can say on oath in Supreme Court that a person sitting in Islamabad has planned dengue. “We are just asking the CM to come to the House and tell us who is hatching conspiracy against Punjab,” Sohna added.
PPP MPA Sajida Mir pointed out the quorum and the session was prorogued.