Wednesday June 12, 2024

PDM to back PPP candidate for Punjab CM

PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat throws weight behind PPP as joint opposition mulls strategy

By Azam Malik & Raees Ansari
December 20, 2022
PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat (right) meets PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore on December 20, 2022. — Twitter/MediaCellPPP
PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat (right) meets PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore on December 20, 2022. — Twitter/MediaCellPPP

LAHORE: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government is likely to offer the Punjab chief minister's slot to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), sources told Geo News Tuesday.

The development comes as the session for the no-confidence motion against Punjab CM Chaudhry Parvez Elahi nears and the joint opposition mull strategies to thwart the dissolution of the assembly.

Moreover, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat, according to the PPP sources, also threw his weight behind the party.

As a result, the sources added, the joint opposition has decided to offer the post to the PPP.

The sources added that the political frequent engagements between Shujaat and Zardari are accelerating. The former president is also meeting political leaders to ensure that his party's candidate becomes the next chief minister.

They said that the PPP has also tasked "important political personalities" of South Punjab to create a rift within the ranks of Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP submitted the no-confidence motion against the Punjab CM a day earlier in a bid to thwart the PTI's plan of dissolving the assembly.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced last week that he would dissolve both assemblies — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — on December 23.

Subsequently, Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman convened the crucial meeting of the provincial assembly on December 21 (Wednesday).

Talking to journalists in Lahore, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah threatened to seal Chief Minister's House if the session of the Punjab Assembly won't take place tomorrow.

Talking to journalists in Lahore, the interior minister said: “CM House will be sealed if Elahi does not take a vote of confidence or the assembly session does not take place.”

But the PTI seems undeterred as its senior leader, Fawad Chaudhry, told journalists in the provincial capital that the party and its ally — PML-Q — would face the no-confidence motion with "full force".

He also added that the party would move towards dissolving the assembly immediately after the no-trust motion against CM Elahi fails.

‘Number game’ in Punjab

The PML-Q’s leadership contacts CM Elahi’s fellow provincial assembly members, sources told Geo News.

Out of the 10 members of Punjab’s ruling party, contact with six has been accelerated to support the joint opposition in the province.

The sources have shared that the PML-Q’s leadership is contacting through various sources in which both the PML-N and the PPP are involved.

The joint opposition has 180 votes in the Punjab Assembly. Once six of CM Elahi’s fellow members join the Opposition the number will increase to 186.