Hamza assails Elahi for scuppering budget session

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An agitated Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz on Tuesday assailed Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvaiz Elahi for delaying the provincial assembly’s session to present the budget.Speaking to the media outside the assembly on Tuesday afternoon, Hamza said that their party, their allies and the residents of the province have been waiting for hours for the provincial budget and learn what “good news” for them is contained within.

“This drama needs to end now,” he said, adding that the demands of the assembly speaker of presenting the provincial inspector general of police before the house to answer for what happened in the house during the elections of the provincial chief minister were just a ruse to delay matters.

“There are pictures of who was congratulating the outsiders who launched an attack in the assembly and you [Elahi] want to question the IG police,” Hamza asked.

He added that the house, of which Elahi was the speaker, spends millions of taxpayer money every day on carrying out its basic operations.

Yesterday, Hamza said, the entire province’s machinery was present and kept waiting for the budget to be presented.

“I went home at midnight,” he said, adding that since morning some 120 million residents of the province have been waiting for the budget. “I came here to give good news to the workers and labourers of the province,” he said.

Accusing Elahi and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan of failing to look past their egos, Hamza said, “The person sitting here [Punjab Assembly] is high on his ego and the same is the case of the person sitting in Bani Gala.”

Hamza pointed to the alleged corruption of Imran Khan by referring to the Tosha Khana case and the repatriation of billions of a property tycoon which had been seized in the UK. “Now if the SC opens its doors at midnight you become perturbed.”Hamza continued, “Have you ever heard of a chief minister who did not have a cabinet for two months?”

People used to ask me you are giving subsidies worth Rs200 billion on wheat and flour without a cabinet, then I say I am answerable on judgement day.

After the scenes yesterday, the budget session of the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday continuously faces delay as the opposition members opt to stay outside.The budget session was supposed to commence at 1pm today. However, the lawmakers are not going inside the assembly hall.

He says the bells are ringing for almost an hour now to call them inside, but the members of the opposition seem to lend a deaf ear to it.

The opposition comprising mostly of PTI and PML-Q members has demanded apology from Punjab Police IG and chief secretary for the violence that took place inside the assembly during the election for Punjab chief minister on April 16.

To end the persisting deadlock, the latest round of talks was held in the speaker’s chamber.

A government delegation led by Punjab Law Minister Malik Ahmed met with PML-Q leader Monis Elahi, who is an MNA and son of Speaker Pervaiz Elahi.

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