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LAHORE: Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan on Tuesday called Governor Balighur Rehman’s move for calling a fresh session of the provincial assembly illegal.

Tussle between the government and the opposition continues to deepen since PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced dissolution of the assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Dec 23, with the PML-N and allies deliberating on ways to prevent the move.

A day earlier, the Punjab governor issued an order, calling a fresh session of the provincial assembly and requiring Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi to obtain a vote of confidence. The governor said Elahi had lost confidence of PML-Q head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and party members, adding there were also reports of confrontation between the PTI and PML-Q at various issues.

The Punjab Assembly Speaker is of the view that the governor cannot call a fresh session when the previous one is already going on. The ongoing session was called by the speaker and it could not be ended by the governor, he stressed. He said the Assembly Secretariat would not issue a gazette notification of the fresh session called by the governor on Dec 21.

Earlier, the session of Punjab Assembly started four hours and 23 minutes late under the chair of Speaker Punjab Assembly Speaker Sabatin Khan.

As the session started, opposition member Khalil Tahir Sindhu pointed out the quorum.

Members of the treasury benches Mian Aslam Iqbal and Raja Basharat said that opposition members were not serious in running the proceedings of the House, adding they came in the House only to mark their attendance.

Earlier, General Secretary Pakistan Peoples Party Central Punjab and Parliamentary Leader Syed Hasan Murtaza while talking to media said it would be too early to say who would be the new chief minister of Punjab.

While responding to the questions of media outside the Punjab Assembly, Murtaza however said that new chief minister would be one whose name would be finalised by former president Asif Ali Zardari after consultation with the coalition partners.

He also said “Chaudhry Shujaat is with us” and claimed that PTI did not have required numbers.

He said “if the session does not take place, the next action plan is ready” adding that “we have plans A, B and C.”

He further said wait for few days everything would be fine. He categorically said assemblies would not be dissolved, adding all parties were against dissolution. He said “governments come and go; assemblies should complete its term.”

Upon completion of the agenda, Speaker adjourned the session till Friday at 2 pm.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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