ISLAMABAD: PPP leader and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has stepped down as the leader of the Opposition in the Senate after his absence led to the passage of the State Bank (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Upper House of the Parliament.
“I have submitted my resignation to my party; I do not want to to be the Opposition leader anymore,” Gillani said while addressing on the floor of the Senate.
During the session, 12 members were absent, including eight members of the Opposition, two of the government and two from independent candidate Dilawar Khan’s group.
Gillani said his staff received the agenda of the January 28 Senate session at 11:30pm on January 27, while he had obtained it almost two hours later at 1am.
“It was not appropriate to add the bill to the agenda late night.”
“This was such an important agenda; we should have been given more time to mull over it. The house is taken into confidence over such important matters related to the national interest, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the case,” he said.
The PPP Senator said the bill was not sent to the relevant standing committee, as he highlighted that bills are debated over in the committees — and as a result, lawmakers form consensus over a matter.
Gillani said speaks and chairman are the custodians of the house, and they represent the house. Therefore, the role of these officers should be unbiased, the PPP leader said.
“The chairman suspended the Senate session for [a mere 30 minutes]. You facilitated the government, not the Opposition,” Gillani told Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.
More to follow