KARACHI – Culture Minister Ms Sassui Palejo Saturday walked of Sindh cabinet meeting in protest after she was not allowed to speak on Zulfiqarabad project. Later in the night, the chief minster removed her from the ministry.

Earlier, during the meeting at CM Secretariat when cabinet members were discussing the Zulfiqarabad project, Sassui wanted to give her views on the subject but Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah did not allow her to speak, sources said.

Recording her protest, Ms Palejo remarked that Zulfiqarabad project falls in her electoral constituency but she was not allowed to talk about it, while those who do not belong to the area were discussing the issue.

Sources said that when the culture minister was not allowed to speak, she took to condemning the attack on ‘Mohabbat-e-Sindh Rally’, pointing her finger to the MQM ministers. This led to exchange of harsh words between her and MQM minister Raza Haroon. But other PPP ministers didn’t support their colleague in the controversy. Later, Sassui walked out of the cabinet meeting in protest.

Sassui Palejo told TheNation that she wanted to talk on the Zulfiqarabad project, but she was not allowed to speak so she walked out of the meeting. She said she was not against the project but being representative of the area, she has more right to talk on each aspect of the project, which was denied in the cabinet meeting.

Sindh Information Minister Ms Shazia Marri, in a briefing to the media persons, said Sassui Palejo was given opportunity to talk on the project but was stopped from speaking on the subject for the second time as the CM was wrapping up the discussion. Shazia said her effort to speak for another time during the wrap-up was taken as a deliberate attempt at interfering in the discussion and it was against the decorum.

This is for the first time in the tenure of the present cabinet that a minister walked out of the meeting in clear defiance to the chief minister, who was presiding over the meeting. Taking action against Sassui, the CM took back her portfolio of culture ministry.

After condoling with Senator Raza Rabbani the death of his father, Chief Minister Qaim Shah told the media that when he (CM) was speaking in the cabinet meeting, Sassui Palejo interrupted and walked out of the meeting, which was against the discipline as well as a violation of the rules. “The portfolio of the culture ministry has been taken back from Ms Sassui Palejo on temporarily bases,” the CM said.

Meanwhile, a notification was issued late night, under which the portfolio of the culture ministry has been taken back/withdrawn from Ms. Sassui Palejo, who will continue as the cabinet minister as without portfolio. Besides, the porfolio of home ministry also taken back/withdrawn from the Manzoor Hussain Wassan, who was on leave. Wassan will also serve as cabinet member without portfolio in Sindh government.

Both these portfolios, Culture and Home, will be remain with the chief minister, who already holds portfolios of Planning & Development, Services and General Administration, Cooperatives, Mines & Mineral and some other departments.