LAHOREn(our reporter):- THe Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Hamza Shahbaz was elected as chief minister Punjab on Saturday in a ruckus marred session of the Punjab Assembly. 

The Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari announced the results and said that the Hamza Shahbaz has obtained 197 votes and Pervez Elahi didnot get any vote. Consecuently, Hamza Shahbaz has been elected as new Chief Minister of Punjab.

Ahead of the vote, three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari as the party boycotted the session to elect the new chief minister.

Hamza Shahbaz has been elected as the new chief minister with 197 votes. While his rival Pervaiz Elahi only received one vote.

After much wait and delay due to a ruckus, the session finally started, with Mazari in the chair. 

The session was scheduled to start at 11:30am. The delay came as government lawmakers — PTI and PML-Q — resorted to violence.

The lawmakers of the ruling party had thrown “lotas” at Mazari first, attacked him and pulled his hair despite the presence of security guards. The deputy speaker left the hall after this.

Before assaulting Mazari, the PTI lawmakers caused a ruckus when they brought “lotas” to the house and started chanting “lota, lota” (turncoats) as they lashed out at dissident PTI MPAs who parted ways with the party and decided to support the Opposition.

As the situation got intense and requests were made for the police to control the situation, the anti-riot force personnel entered the assembly wearing bulletproof jackets and made the arrests of the PTI MPAs.

The police entered the premises of the Punjab Assembly through the old building. A large number of the female police force are also present inside the assembly. 

Although the police took control of the speaker’s dais after much struggle, the women MPAs have again surrounded it and are chanting slogans against the Opposition.

Elahi injured; ‘all lines crossed’

With all that was going on, Elahi was not spared as well and became a target of the violence in the assembly that left him injured.

“They have rewarded me well in return for my goodness,” said Elahi — who got his hand bandaged after he was injured during the ruckus.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervez Elahi claims he was injured during the ruckus that took place inside the house in Lahore, on April 16, 2022. — YouTube/HumNewsLive
Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervez Elahi claims he was injured during the ruckus that took place inside the house in Lahore, on April 16, 2022. — YouTube/HumNewsLive

“Has this ever happened to any speaker before,” asked the PML-Q leader, adding that everything was pre-planned.

They crossed all lines today trying to manhandle me in an attempt to “finish me”, he said.

Elahi said that the courts are not for the poor and he will ask for justice from God.

Recalling the time when the Supreme Court took notice at midnight, Elahi said that sou motu notice is taken when influential people are involved.

Talking about the fight in the assembly, Speaker Elahi alleged that Hamza Shehbaz was giving orders to “hit” the members. 

“I took care of him when his family was in exile,” recalled Elahi.

“Rana Mashood tortured me after which I fell unconscious and he was guiding them,” claimed the PTI’s candidate for chief minister, adding that his arm was broken.

He went on to alleged that the female members were attacked by the police on the orders of the deputy speaker when they went to talk to him, after which the male members of the assembly went before them.

“Whatever happened today in the assembly is to be blamed on Deputy Speaker Mazari,” he claimed. The PML-Q leader further said that the deputy speaker brought the violence upon himself.

“Who will accept their voting,” asked Elahi. He alleged that the members of the government were “dictators” and “real enemies of democracy”.

Pervez Elahi’s sons reach Punjab Assembly

Following his father’s injury, Pervez Elahi’s sons Moonis Elahi and Rasikh reached the Punjab Assembly.

Replying to a question about whether Moonis was there to fight, he replied that he has come to question those involved in the incident that what was the need to “torture” an old man.

‘This is not Gujrat’

Deputy Speaker Mazari, in a statement, said the election would take place at any cost and that he would return to the assembly’s building later.

“I will fulfil my constitutional and legal duty […] the attack against me was orchestrated, it was not abrupt,” the deputy speaker said.

He also lashed out at Elahi and said: “This is not Gujrat where you can do whatever you want. This is the Punjab Assembly and here, we follow the Constitution and law.”

‘Gangsters of Gujrat’

While the session of the PA was yet to start, the National Assembly session kicked off and elected a new speaker, Raja Pervez Ashraf. During the lower house’s session, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif condemned the attack on the deputy speaker.

“Dost Mazari was tortured […] the assembly’s sanctity was violated; we will not allow hooliganism to take place and strive for the upholding of the constitution,” Asif said.

The PML-N leader termed the attack on the deputy speaker a “day of shame” for the parliamentarians as he blamed Pervez Elahi and PTI Chairman Imran Khan for the events that transpired in the assembly.

Asif berated the PTI government in Punjab and said they wanted to cling on to power illegally. “Whatever is happening in Punjab is illegal and unconstitutional.”

In an apparent reference to the PML-Q, the ex-foreign minister said the “gangsters of Gujrat” were brought to the assembly.

“We will not allow it,” Asif reiterated.

‘Attack on democracy, constitution, courts’

In a tweet, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the attack on the deputy speaker was not only an attack on the Punjab assembly, but it was an attack on the courts that had ruled he conduct elections.

“An attack on our democracy, an attack on our constitution, an attack on our federation and an attack on the people of South Punjab,” Bilawal termed the recent incidents in the assembly.

Hamza Shahbaz vs Pervez Elahi

A tough competition is expected between the two candidates — Hamza Shahbaz and Parvez Elahi. Hamza is the joint candidate of PML-N and other coalition parties, while PML-Q’s Elahi is being backed by PTI.

The April 16 session is being held in line with the LHC’s Wednesday order, wherein it rejected Hamza’s plea to hold the early elections and restored the powers of the deputy speaker.

The deputy speaker — whose powers were withdrawn last week — was asked by the court to hold the election on April 16.

The CM’s office has been vacant for nearly two weeks since ex-governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar — who was removed from his position last week — accepted Usman Buzdar’s resignation on April 1.

In a symbolic session of the provincial assembly, the Opposition elected PML-N leader Hamza as the chief minister after Speaker Elahi sealed off the Punjab Assembly on April 6.

The joint opposition has claimed to have the support of 200 members and is confident of winning the CM election. In the house of 371, Hamza Shahbaz needs the support of 186 members to become the chief minister.

By adminmy

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