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July 30,2018

PTI in strong position to form govt in Punjab

Ahmad Noorani
Independent candidate Pir Syed Sair-Ul-Hassan from Narowal (PP-46) announced support for PTI in a meeting with Imran Khan on Sunday.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (c) is in a strong position to make its government in the Punjab compared with the PML-N that lags behind in roping in the required number of independents, The News discussion with majority of independent candidates shows.

The PML-N — the former ruling party in the province — has 129 seats in the Punjab Assembly. Even if the PML-N gets the PPP support, it will still need at least 16 out of 29 independent MPAs-elect to get simple majority figure of 186 in the 371-member House, which is almost impossible in the present situation.

There are 297 general seats, 66 women seats and eight minority seats in the 371-member House. Elections were held in 295 provincial constituencies of the Punjab in July 25 general elections.

A party needs the support of 186 members to make its government in the Punjab. The PML-N has 129 seats, PTI 123, PML-Q 7, PPP six and independents 30 seats. Those who have won multiple seats or have also won the National Assembly seat will have to vacate additional seats.

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif has won one National Assembly seat and two provincial assembly seats from PP-164 and PP-165. Reportedly, he will retain the National Assembly seat, so he will have to vacate both the Punjab Assembly seats.

Hamza Shahbaz has won one NA seat and a PA seat from PP-165. He will also surrender his PA seat. Fawad Chaudhry of PTI will also vacate PP-27 seat retaining his NA seat. PTI’s Tahir Sadiq has won two NA seats and a PA seat from PP-3.

He was vying for the office of CM but according to party sources he stood no chance [of becoming CM], so he’ll have to retain one of his NA seats.

Similarly, PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi has won two NA seats and a PA seat from PP-30. He also wants to become the chief minister but discussions with the PTI leaders show an outsider won’t get this position.

So he will also retain his NA seats and abandon the PA seat. Independent candidate from PP-272 Muzaffargarh Syed Basit Ahmad Sultan Bokhari has won NA-185 seat and will retain it.

Makhdoom Hashim Nawaz Bakhat won two PA seats from PP-259 and PP-261 and will vacate one. Also Rai Murtaza Iqbal who won PA seat PP-201 also won NA-149 seat and will vacate provincial assembly seat.

So, basically there are a total of 29 independents who will decide a party of their choice. Sajid Ahmad Khan from PP-67 Mandi Bahauddin, who has already joined the PML-Q, told this reporter that his party will support the PTI-led coalition for making the Punjab government.

Eight independent MPAs — Raja Sagheer Ahmed from PP-7 Rawalpindi, Syed Saeedul Hassan from PP-46 Narowal, Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi from PP-204 Khanewal, Sheikh Muhammad Salman from PP-217 Multan, Mian Alamdar Abbas Qureshi from PP-277 Muzaffargarh, Muhammad Tahir from PP-282, Layyah, Syed Rafaquat Ali Gillani from PP-284 Layyah, and Muhammad Hanif Patafi from PP-289 DG Khan have already announced to join the PTI and have also met Imran Khan in Islamabad.

Sources close to independent candidate from PP-275 Muzaffargarh Khurrum Sohail Khan Laghari told The News that he will join the PTI.

A group of four independent MPAs from Jhang district — Muhammad Taimoor Khan from PP-46, Faisal Hayat from PP-125, Muhammad Moavia from PP-126, and Mehr Muhammad Aslam from PP-127 — are also set to join the PTI.

Talking to The News, Taimoor, Faisal and Aslam said they only want development in their constituencies and will move forward under a joint strategy which was to join the party that will succeed in making its government so that they can get maximum benefits for their electorate.

Moavia told this reporter that he will not join any party permanently and will vote for one of the parties. “I will try to maintain my independent status even after becoming part of a party for the purpose of casting vote,” he said.

Moavia said he’d obtained the biggest number of votes in the history of Jhang and will try to serve his people. He said if the PTI made its government, he will definitely support them. A source close to these MPAs told The News that they were set to join the PTI.

Muhammad Ajmal from PP-97 Faisalabad told The News that he was still consulting and will join the party that will make the government to get maximum benefits for the people of his area. Ajmal said he was most likely to join the PTI but still had to finalise his decision. Umer Farooq from PP-106 made almost same remarks.

Fida Hussain from PP-237, Bahawalnagr told The News that he will make a joint decision along with his nephew Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar Wattoo who was elected from NA-166, Bahawalnagar.

When The News contacted his nephew, he said they will most probably join the PTI for the good of their area.

Three independent MPAs — Ameer Muhammad Khan from PP-89 Bhakkar, Saeed Akbar Khan from PP-90 Bhakkar, and Syed Khawar Ali Shah from PP-203, Khanewal — said they were still consulting and will decide in accordance with the wishes of the people of their area.

Taimoor Ali Lali from PP-93 Chiniot told The News that he was still consulting his electorate but later news channels reported that he and another MPA Mr. Bhatti had joined the PML-N.

Eight independent MPAs — Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from PP-10, Rana Liaquat Ali from PP-39 Sialkot, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha from PP-83 Khushab, Syeda Maimanat Mohsin from PP-184 Okara, Shoukat Ali Laleka from PP-238 Bahawalnagar, Abdullah Hayi Dasti from PP-270 Muzaffargarh, Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh from PP-280 Layyah, and Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa from PP-288 DG Khan could not be contacted.

After inclusion of independents in the parties, one women MPA can be elected with the support of four and a half members. Similarly, around 37 members are needed to elect one MPA on minority seat. Even if ten independent MPAs join the PML-N, it will get 31 women and 4 minority seats.

Supposing PPP with 7 seats (6 general seats and one women seat) will support, its tally will reach 178 seats and still it will be lacking eight seats to attain majority.

On the other hand, the PTI will have the support of PML-Q which will easily get two women seats and already having one independent candidate will be supporting the PTI-led coalition with its nine seats.

The PTI will get all the remaining women seats and 4 seats reserved for minorities and will be in a position to form the government given the fact and figures available today.

Makhdoom Hashim Nawaz Bakhat won PP-259 and PP-261 seats and will vacate one. Rai Murtaza Iqbal won PP-201 and NA-149 seats and will vacate the provincial assembly seat.


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