Friday December 02, 2022

Pervaiz Elahi: A success story since 1985

Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Thursday became the second man in history who took oath as Speaker Punjab Assembly after serving as chief minister of the province.

August 17, 2018

LAHORE: Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Thursday became the second man in history who took oath as Speaker Punjab Assembly after serving as chief minister of the province.

Before him, it was Hanif Ramay of Pakistan People’s Party who served as Punjab Chief Minister once in the era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and later in 1993, while the PPP was in power in centre and the major share holder in Punjab coalition government, he was elected as Speaker Punjab Assembly.

Nevertheless, fortune has favoured Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for most of the time in his political career when despite showing a poor performance at electorate his party has got a good share in coalition with the ruling parties. Nephew of late Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi and cousin of former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pervaiz belongs to the famous and politically influential family of Gujrat who has been associated with power corridors at most of the times and came in coalition even with their bitter past rivals like PPP and later PTI. In 1993, he played a key role while leading Opposition in Punjab Assembly, though actually Opposition leader was Shahbaz Sharif, yet in most of the time in 1996, it was Pervaiz who remained active in Tehreek-e-Nijat against the PPP government.

In 1997, Pervaiz Elahi was the most likely Chief Minister of Punjab after the PML-N scored a landslide victory in the general elections but Shahbaz Sharif came into his way and he was nominated as PA Speaker by his party head Nawaz Sharif.

Between 1985 to 2018, Chaudhry Pervaiz has served as Provincial Minister for Local Governments, Punjab Assembly Speaker, Punjab Chief Minister, Opposition Leader in National Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister and once again Punjab Assembly Speaker.

Pervaiz Elahi was first elected as MPA in 1985 and won consecutively from Gujrat in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2002 general elections on the provincial seats. In the 1988 general elections, Pervaiz Elahi won from then PP-94, Gujrat IV and in that contest he bagged 31,993 votes as the IJI candidate against 18,364 votes secured by Chaudhry Shahid of PPP. In 1990, Pervaiz Elahi won once again from the same seat, PP-94 with a big margin and got 47,560 votes against PPP candidate Mian Abdul Rashid Paganwala of Peoples Democratic Alliance who got 17,169 votes. In 1993 general elections, Pervaiz Elahi won again while getting 36,742 against 30,818 votes bagged by Sarwar Jaura of PPP.

In 1997, he once again defeated PPP with a big margin and got 40,544 votes against 18,340 secured by Ashraf Jaura of PPP. After the October 12, 1999 episode, Chaudhrys sided with General Pervez Musharraf and had a key role in the making of PML-Q as a result of massive exodus from Muslim League Nawaz. The much awaited moment for Pervaiz Elahi came in the 2002 general elections, after the PML-Q won largest number of seats in Punjab amid rigging allegations by the PML-N and the PPP clinched the chief minister slot of Pervaiz Elahi took oath as the CM. His party was declared ‘Qatil League’ by PPP and PML-N, whose top leadership had already returned to Pakistan, also spared no opportunity to tarnish the image of PML-Q, during and after the 2008 elections. In 2008, PML-Q won 84 seats in Punjab Assembly and stood at number three but within days, a forward bloc emerged out of it and its total strength, with the passage of time was reduced to less than 30 MPAs.

In the National Assembly, PML-Q won 54 seats and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi served as Opposition Leader in NA while PPP and PML-N formed coalition government in centre. His party faced a similar situation and most of its members announced forming the forward bloc, some of those sided with PPP and others with PML-N. After PML-N quit the PPP coalition, Chaudhry Nisar became the Opposition Leader and Pervaiz Elahi wasn’t left with much role in the Lower House of Parliament. However, luck favoured Pervaiz Elahi and he held trump card when in the central government, MQM quit coalition and PPP, whose leadership once called PML-Q as “Qatil League” had to accept its bitter rival as a coalition partner. Pervaiz Elahi, as the Parliamentary head of PML-Q in National Assembly, took oath as Deputy Prime Minister and thus set first precedent of this kind since 1970. In 2013 general elections, the PML-Q faced almost a whitewash and it could win less than five seats in National Assembly and seven in Punjab. Pervaiz Elahi came close to PTI in that era and was Imran Khan’s ally in the 2014 sit-in at the Federal Capital that continued for 126 days. Together with Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the PML-Q also continued to protest against the Model Town killings as well rigging in the 2013 polls.

In 2018 general elections, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, in alliance with PTI contested the polls from two National Assembly seats as well as the provincial and having won on both NA seats, he vacated them and retained the provincial seat.