LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has offered independent candidates of Punjab Assembly to bring their own speaker and deputy speaker if they can muster enough strength to form a government with the party, former provincial minister Rana Sanaullah told The Express Tribune.
He said that they have not hung their gloves in Punjab and are very much in the game of forming the provincial government. He added that they were trying to forge an alliance with all the independent candidates to form a provincial government.
Rana Sanaullah said that they have offered independent candidates to bring their own speaker and deputy speaker if PML-N is able to gather enough strength to form the provincial government with their support. He added that they might agree to some other arrangement if such a deal works out.
The former provincial minister said that the independent candidates have not joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in reality. He added that all the candidates who have publicly joined PTI were forced to do so.
He said that they were still independent candidates who might opt to side with PML-N in assembly. The PML-N senior leader said that no such decision has been taken regarding the parties nominee for Punjab chief minister.
He said the decision for deciding party’s nominee for speaker and deputy speaker would be taken in upcoming Central Executive Committee meeting. He added that no date has been announced for the next Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting.
Meanwhile, according to a senior party leader, the CEC meeting held on Monday has agreed to keep Hamza Shehbaz in Punjab to work as the opposition leader. He said that it was also agreed to form a shadow cabinet in Punjab under the leadership of Hamza.
He said that it was also agreed to make Hamza parliamentary leader of PML-N in Punjab. He added that the decision regarding Hamza would, however, require the permission of the party’s supremo.
He said that Shehbaz Sharif would meet Nawaz Sharif on Thursday this week to get permission regarding Hamza and other matters of the party. He added that after Nawaz Sharif’s approval, Hamza’s decision would formally be made in the next CEC meeting. He said that the CEC meeting would be held in next seven days.
On the contrary, PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry termed the PML-N’s offer made to independent candidates as horse trading. He said that these efforts of PML-N though would not yield any result.
The PTI spokesperson said that out of the 29 independent candidates, 26 not only joined them but have given written affidavits. He added that their total strength in Punjab was around 186 candidates, more than what was required to form the provincial government.
A total of 149 votes are required to form the government in Punjab. PTI managed to secure 123 seats in Punjab whereas PML-N managed to secure 129 seats in Punjab. PTI was also supported by PML-Q, which managed to secure 8 seats.