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ISLAMABAD: The legal team of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and its allied parties in Punjab had almost completed the homework required to unseat Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) backed Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi government in Punjab through a no-confidence motion, it was learnt.

The PTI with 178 members in the provincial Assembly, together with 10 members from its major coalition partner, Pervaiz Elahi is leading the 371-member provincial assembly with a total strength of 188 against the required simple majority of 186.

The opposition alliance with a total strength of 179, is short of 7 members to get a simple majority and remove the current chief minister. Currently, PML-N has 166 MPAs, PPP 7, Rah-e-Haq1 and 5 independents are also supporting the opposition alliance.

Sources maintained that the proposal to move a no-confidence motion against the Punjab chief minister was discussed in the recent meetings in London by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.

They said that Nawaz was also briefed on the discussions held with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as both are on-board with regard to a possible in-house change in Punjab.

A PML-N source told Business Recorder that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is hedging his bets and has begun lobbying within the Chaudhry household to mend ties with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, to be the candidate of the opposition alliance for the office of the chief minister.

The source maintained that the case in Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with regard to PML-Q’s intraparty election is also crucial as the ECP has reserved its ruling and in case the Commission declares Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as the party head, then Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi along with a group of 10 MPAs would stand disqualified.

The sources further stated that the legal team of the PDM and the allied parties has started deliberations and would soon submit its recommendations to the leadership.

They claimed that some treasury members, both from the PTI and PML-Q, are also in contact with the PML-N to extend their support for a possible no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi.

Talking to Business Recorder, senior PPP leader Naveed Chaudhry said that the PDM and its allied parties have completed its homework for bringing an in-house change in Punjab assembly.

He said that the opposition alliance is waiting for the “right time” to show its cards.

“We have completed our homework and we will act once the leadership gives the go ahead,” he stated, adding that a change in Punjab was necessary for bringing political stability in the country in general and Punjab in particular.

To a question, the PPP leader said that PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and some disgruntled MPAs of PTI would play their role for the success of the no-confidence motion against the incumbent chief minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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