Senate Voting Bill: National Assembly echoes with Opposition whistles

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

04th Feb, 2021. 02:57 pm
National Assembly

The National Assembly on Thursday echoed with whistles as the opposition staged an unprecedented noisy protest.

The opposition members kept on hurling papers, sometimes in the form of paper airplanes, at the speaker’s dais, surrounded the dais and raised full-throated anti-government slogans after PTI MNAs tried to argue in favour of the 26th constitutional amendment bill that seeks to change the way votes are cast during Senate elections.

Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem had introduced the bill. The discussion on the bill resumed on Thursday in a session chaired by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri.

The opposition members also created a ruckus as Federal Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan took the floor of the assembly. Khan wasn’t able to complete his speech because of the noise.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his speech condemned the the opposition for their behaviour and warned that they had been tolerated with respect but “if you think we will let you bulldoze it [the bill], that will not happen”.

He reprimanded the opposition for being “two-faced” and stated that “this house cannot function” if their behaviour and refusal to listen to the government continued. “If they don’t want to listen then a one-sided debate cannot take place.”

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Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised the introduction of reforms and the government wanted to move forward with clear as crystal reforms.

The Foreign Minister said that the bill was brought to uncover the motives of candidates who came to the Senate on the back of “horse trading” and had no “vision or support from any political party” and to root out and “defeat corrupt practices”.

Fawad Chaudhry

Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry during his speech condemned the opposition behavior and suggested them to change the way of protests.

He claimed that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have mastered the act of purchasing votes. “They want to keep the Senate a millionaires’ club.”

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Chaudhry said that Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani had promised to take action against senators who sold their votes. “Nothing was, however, done.”  Fawad Chaudhry criticized PPP leaders for going against the vision of Benazir Bhutto.

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