Rifts emerge in BAP over Kamal’s candidacy

Published: August 2, 2018
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The announcement of Kamal’s name for the CM’s office has created tension in the party’s inner circle.

PHOTO: MOHAMMAD ZAFAR

The announcement of Kamal’s name for the CM’s office has created tension in the party’s inner circle. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD ZAFAR

QUETTA: Following steps of the Awami National Party (ANP), Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) is likely to announce its support for Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Chairman Jam Kamal as the Chief Minister of Balochistan, leading a coalition government in the province.

However, the announcement of Kamal’s name for the CM’s office has created tension in the party’s inner circle, as former Balochistan chief minster Mir Quddus Bizenjo has opposed Kamal’s approach towards PTI regarding the formation of government.

“We launched BAP with an intention to make the decisions of Balochistan in Balochistan, thus consensus over the next government should be held here rather than in Islamabad,” Bizenjo shared his remarks after PTI announced support for Jam Kamal in Bani Gala.

Consensus being developed to select next CM: BAP

Even though BAP enjoys simple majority in the Balochistan Assembly after ANP, PTI, HDP announced their full support for its government the party’s internal rifts could turn the tide in Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s favour, which is also eyeing the top slot. Additionally, the JWP is also yet to confirm its support for BAP and its CM candidate.

Earlier on Tuesday, BNP-M Chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal had announced his party is going to commence liaison with others on central and provincial level to form the next government and announced fielding its own CM candidate.

Meanwhile, it is not only the BAP which happens to be at loggerheads over this development, but rifts have also emerged in PTI Balochistan as provincial leaders expressed their displeasure on Wednesday over party heavyweight Jahangir Tareen naming Jam Kamal as the next chief minister of Balochistan.

PTI, BAP join hands to form coalition govts in Centre, Balochistan

The PTI chairman Imran Khan had met Jam Kamal in Islamabad earlier this week, after which Tareen announced party’s support for Kamal, a BAP candidate for the province’s top spot.

The announcement didn’t sit well with the party’s provincial president Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, who according to reports has resented the PTI bigwig’s declaration and claimed that only the parliamentary board and the chairman himself can make the announcement.

Sources further revealed that the party’s Balochistan wing is also unhappy with Tareen’s move, adding that the provincial party should have the right to make decisions regarding the CM and cabinet.

“PTI chairman Imran Khan has not named anyone for the top slot and has summoned a meeting of all elected MNAs and MPAs belonging to Balochistan later this week”, said the source adding that name for the chief minister’s office is likely to be decided then.

Much like the situation in Punjab, the race to form government in Balochistan also hangs in a political tug of war, as both BAP and BNP-M are in run for the coveted office.

At present, after continuous political haggling, BAP has succeeded in gaining support of 31 out of the 64 MPAs, making Kamal a strong candidate for the Balochsitan chief minister, however Jan Muhammad Jamali and Sardar Saleh Bhotani are also competing for the same slot and chances are the two might join Mengal’s party.

On the other hand, BNP-M has intensified approaching other political parties as its Chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal has flown to Islamabad to meet the PTI chairman and JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

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