LAHORE           -           The Punjab Assembly witnessed chaos though with brief periods of order on Friday with legislators from both the sides of political divide resorting to sloganeering and besieging the Speaker’s podium to protest against indecent remarks of opponents.

Female legislators from the treasury besieged the Speaker’s podium demanding apology from PPP’s Hassan Murtaza for indecent remarks against the participants of PTI 126-day sit-in in Islamabad. Even Law Minister Raja Basharat threatened to boycott the proceedings if Hassan did not tender apology for using the words of ‘mujra’ and ‘bhangra’ while speaking about PTI’s sit in.

The session started 45 minutes behind the scheduled time with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

Minister for Agriculture Nauman Langrial responded to the queries during question hour relating to his department.

During general discussion on price control, Hassan Murtaza expressed sorrow over the failure of the present regime in providing basic necessities to the masses at affordable prices. He said low cost power was provided by those whom the PTI leaders had been accusing as thieves and dacoits.

On assuming power, he said, the PTI raised power and fuel prices several times. He said that former finance minister Asad Omar used to accuse the former government of fleecing poor masses by charging exorbitant rates for the petrol coming so cheap that it should have been sold at Rs 45 per liter.

But the PTI government, he said, increased petrol price up to Rs119 per litre and still called themselves champions of liberating the poor masses from the dacoits and thieves rulers.  He said an unknown person appeared on state TV to tell the masses that country’s economy was going in the right direction and that things would become normal within short time.

He said the Prime Minister Imran Khan had been tirelessly and needlessly condemning the previous rulers instead taking measures to check price hike. Instead, he said, the PM kept asking government spokespersons to use harsher words and tone to accuse the previous rulers and opposition leaders.

He said that the PTI kept Islamabad hostage for 126 staging ‘mujras’ and ‘bhangras’. Hasan’s remarks infuriated the treasury, especially the female legislators who stood up and started shouting at him, demanding apology and taking back indecent remarks.

They besieged the Speaker’s podium, tearing away the agenda copies and raising slogans against the opposition leadership. Raja Basharat also joined the protest by saying that using such remarks was shameful from a senior and experienced parliamentarian like Hasan Murtaza. He even threatened to boycott the proceedings. The normalcy returned after Hassan tendered apology on the insistence of Deputy Speaker. It lasted for a brief duration until PTI’s Uzma Kardar loudly called Hassan Murtaza as brinjal. Hasan Murtaza walked out of the House in protest. Minister Ijaz Alam went out to convince Hassan to come back.

Chaos again returned when PTI’s Fayyaz Chohan made sharp remarks against PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif. He said there was a leader of a party who made ‘bhangras’ by gesturing with fingers and shaking his back. He said such leader called himself ‘Khadim-e-Ala’ but plunged the country under 96 billion dollar debt.

These remarks caused outburst in the House. Fayyaz Chohan and PML-N’s Jafar Ali Hocha exchanged harsh words and abuses but were unable to be heard amidst a deafening noise and chaos. The rumpus and trouble continued for over 15 minutes, and finally came to rest when some of the members left the House.

PML-N’s Azma Zahid Bukhari lamented that the government was not only making the lives of the poor people harder by raising prices of essential commodities, but also accusing them of defrauding the taxes. She criticized Asad Omar for making false claims and estimates of economic development before the elections which befooled the masses to vote for the PTI.

She said there was no accountability of PTI when it was accusing opponents on container. She said now the PTI was in power and would be held accountable for everything.

She alleged that sugar mafia financed the PTI election campaign and was now being paid back with huge interest. She said Asad Omar had admitted before the parliament the influence sugar mafia exercised over the government. She said it was time Imran Khan must realize that he was not running some NGO or charity organization but a government and responsible for the welfare of 220 million people.

She said Imrna Khan must realize that nation needed industries and employment instead of mere chickens, goats and buffaloes. She said government was enjoying making mere statements while millions of people had become jobless and homeless due to cruel policies dictated by the IMF. She said the entire price control efforts were merely on paper since no result was seen anywhere in the country.  On completion of time, the chair adjourned the session till Monday (day after tomorrow) at 3pm.