LAHORE: PTI and PML-Q have reached an agreement to give deputy opposition leader’s slot to Moonis Elahi, sources told The News.
During the inaugural session of the Punjab Assembly Sunday was fixed for the nomination of speaker and deputy speaker but most of the unwanted MPAs were there to show their presence to the leadership and their interest in party affairs. The target of the over excited MPAs was the TV cameras and they think their clip can catch the attention of the leadership and to show their locality with the leadership and the party.
Though the PPP and PML-Q were cut to size. The possible opposition leader is Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed — an ex-MPA of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). Unfortunately, unlike the Centre, the PTI doesn’t have an aggressive opposition leader.
We have witnessed him as an IJI MPA in this august house with Shahbaz Sharif and he was known as a soft ball player. Comparing with the giant treasury, the opposition looks like dwarf. But they should remember the lonely opposition leader, the legend, late Makhdoomzada Syed Hassan Mahmood who proved wisdom matters, not the number. If the current opposition has guts they can notice their presence.
The would-be opposition leader Main Mehmoodur Rasheed is an experienced parliamentarian and it is his third term in the Punjab Assembly. He had served as MPA in 1988 and 1990 as the IJI candidate and in 2013 the PTI sent him in the Punjab Assembly. He started his political career from JI and was elected as councillor for two consecutive terms. Though in 2000 he joined the PTI but he could not be disassociated from his mother party, JI. He did not play an affective role in the Punjab Assembly during his two tenures in the past; the time will tell how he behaves as opposition leader.
One of the most respected lady in the house was Hasina Noor, a female MPA from Bahawalpur. She is associated with the PML-N for last 25 years and did not change her commitment. She runs her day to day expenses through stitching clothes and is proud to own this publicly. Sharifs should take care of such committed and loyal workers as they are their asset and Shahbaz Sharif should prefer her to any sycophant.
The PML-N’s excellent choice for the speaker is the talented son of late Rana Phool Khan, Rana Iqbal. How he run the assembly during last five years was admirable. In this assembly the speaker needs to control the treasury instead opposition. It would be a favour to the press gallery and the house itself if the speaker with the consultation of the Opposition decides a dress code for opposition so they could be recognised in the treasury’s ‘Amazon’.
The most experienced MPA in the current assembly is Ch Iqbal Gujjar of Gujranwala but in this green revolution his grey head might went unnoticed. A PML-N’s stalwart was feeling suffocated due to overwhelming majority of his party. He missed his old opposition buddies a lot. He further disclosed that this time they have plans to auction the Government Official Residence and move them to small town houses.
A senior MPA from Seraiki belt was sure that his party would fulfil the promise of separate provinces for Seraiki belt as now they have two third majority in the province and at centre the big brother could make a deal with the opposition for necessary amendments for the task.
Another old face Saba Sadiq was also seen. Her association with the PML-N was since she was a councillor with Khawaja Saad Rafique during the 1990s. In the then district assembly both were vocal as they are today. Though Saba also turned to be a turncoat but soon came back home. The most vocal rather violent MPA Samina Khawar Hayat is back to the assembly once again.
Film actress Kanwal Noman is also a good addition in the assembly. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah might bother some fellows a lot but like ‘black mamba’ he never bites until he was challenged. No doubt virtually he played a firewall role for Sharifs and hit back to all the attacks. But he should change his violent style, the reason is they have clear mandate at the National Assembly and this time blanket performance would matter.