PML-N leader secures 197 votes; Deputy speaker attacked, pelted with lotas; PTI legislators attack policemen, tore uniforms; PTI MPAs did not cast vote
Amraiz Khan Lahore
After much delay and cancellation of assembly sessions finally, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday became Chief Minister of Punjab by grabbing 197 votes in Punjab Assembly.
It merits mentioning here that the election was supposed to be held on April 3 this month but then a brawl between PTI and PML-N members happened and Speaker Pervaiz Elahi cancelled the session in the name of law and order situation inside Assembly premises.
In the meanwhile a No-trust motion was moved against Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi and Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari took over the charge of Assembly and called the session on April 16. Pervaiz Elahi withheld the powers of Deputy Speaker and PML-N leadership approached Lahore High Court to restore the powers and holding of Chief Minister elections.
The court summoned Secretary Assembly and ordered him to hold an election on April 16.
On Saturday when the session started another brawl happened and MPAs from PTI attacked Deputy Speaker, Dost Muhammad Mazari. The Anti-Riots Force of Punjab Police had to enter the Punjab Assembly chamber and arrested three legislators from the House after a scuffle with the treasury members.
The prisons’ van of the police also reached outside the assembly building to shift the arrested members of the provincial assembly of Punjab to lockup.
The police entered the Punjab Assembly chamber following the direction of the Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari.
The ruling PTI members including women legislators attacked the policemen inside the chamber and tore their uniforms. The policemen were also hit by MPAs with Lotas. The police arrested MPAs including Umar Tanveer Butt, Wasiq Abbasi, and Nadeem Qureshi.
Earlier, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mazari had declared that the election for the new chief minister of the province will be held on Saturday.
The deputy Speaker met IGP Punjab Rao Sardar in the Punjab Assembly secretariat and briefed him about the attack on him by the PTI lawmakers.
Dost Mazari said that the election for the new chief minister will be held as per law and the court order. He directed to hold an election in presence of the police, alerting the IGP to be on stand by and if the need arises he will be delegated the powers of sergeant at arms. He also directed the police to arrest anyone who tried to create trouble in the house.
After the attack, the assembly proceedings were halted for the time being when at the onset of the session, the PTI MPAs surrounded the speaker’s dais and raised slogans against the opposition. They then attacked Dost Mazari, hit him with lotas they were carrying, slapped him, and dragged him by the hair. Dost Mazari was also kicked and punched after the lawmakers threw him onto the ground. The security men rushed in to save the deputy speaker. They wrestled him free from the clutches of PTI MPAs and escorted him to safety in his chamber.
PML-Q leader and CM slot contender Ch Pervaiz Elahi who was the custodian of the Punjab Assembly objected to the presence of police inside the house saying why did the police force enter the assembly. He said he would summon Punjab IG police and grill him in this regard. He said he would award a month-long punishment to him for this act.
Meanwhile, the treasury members in the Punjab Assembly leaped towards the chair of the deputy speaker and occupied it. The PTI MPAs brought lotas (which represents turncoats) with them in the assembly and flung them in the air.
In the evening Deputy Speaker held election in the presence of Police and PTI MPAs boycotted the session and did not cast vote. Hamza got 197 votes and became Chief Minister of Punjab.