Two separate budget sessions have been called in Punjab on Wednesday (today). Governor Punjab Balighur Rehman has called for a 2pm session at Aiwan-i-Iqbal while Speaker Punjab Assembly (PA) Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has called for a 1pm session at the provincial assembly.
The session at Aiwan-i-Iqbal will be presided over by PA Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari.
According to news reports, Elahi has termed the session at Aiwan-i-Iqbal “illegal”.
However, according to Geo News, legal experts say that session cannot be resumed when prorogued by the Governor, as he is the head of the province, and the Speaker cannot summon another session. Therefore, the session summoned by Governor Punjab is the legitimate one.
Responding to the crisis, former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “Even in the martial law governments, it was never said that the assembly would be subordinate to the administration. The PML-N and PPP alliance has done a strange thing today; the Ordinance issued by the Governor is a martial law proclamation.”
Delay of budget session for two days
For two days, the Assembly was unable to present the budget for the new fiscal year (2022-23). On Tuesday, when the PA proceedings could not continue, Governor Rehman cancelled the ongoing session and summoned another one, which has started. However, despite the Governor’s orders, Speaker Elahi declared that the session would continue.
At that point, Chief Minister (CM) Hamza Shehbaz announced he would come up with another strategy to deal with the problem.
On Monday, Speaker Elahi refused to conduct the budget session and demanded that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) should apologise to him for what took place on April 16 and withdraw all cases lodged against the PTI and Pakistan Muslim League- Quaid (PML-Q) members.