PTI’s plan within a plan

Party can control Punjab, K-P for another 5 years as it has 69% general seats in NA


RAMEEZ KHAN November 30, 2022
Photo: Facebook/PTI

LAHORE:

With the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz moving to use every available option to intercept the dissolution of assemblies, the PTI – apparently content with its numbers in both the Punjab and K-P assemblies – seems to be in no hurry to pull the trigger.

A participant of a meeting that took place on Tuesday between the PPP and the PML-N Punjab leadership to chalk out a strategy to thwart the PTI’s move of dissolving the Punjab Assembly claimed that the incumbent Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi could be offered to retain his CM’s position, if he agreed to side with them and help take down his own PML-Q supported PTI government in Punjab.

A PML-N leader said that they would never approach Elahi, however, if things go awry, they "will ask Asif Zardari to work his magic".

Currently, the PTI has a majority in both the Punjab and K-P assemblies, however in Punjab, the PTI on its own with 180 MPAs could not have formed a government, so it was compelled to form an alliance in order to secure 186 votes. Currently, the party is mainly in alliance with the PML-Q which has only 10 votes. But those 10 votes were so crucial that both the PTI and the PML-N-led opposition camp were offering the CM’s position to Elahi.

With fresh elections, the PTI not only hopes of bettering its position in both these provinces, but given that Punjab and K-P share in the National Assembly is in total around 69.9 per cent, the PTI will be in control of the provinces for another five years with 186 seats (141 Punjab and 45 K-P) out of a total of 266 NA general seats.

Being in control of both these provinces will give the PTI a huge advantage going forward towards fresh elections over their rival; an advantage that the PML-N and their allies will not want to accord to the PTI in any case, which is why the PML-N is likely to go for a no holds barred policy.

The opposition parties in Punjab, including the PML-N and the PPP, were absolutely clear that they would not let matters proceed towards elections, announcing that they would reach out to lawmakers on the treasury benches.

This very act of horse-trading had cost them bitterly in the recent by-elections where close to a dozen former PTI parliamentarians, who had switched sides to join the PML-N prior to the Punjab chief minister’s elections on the promise of a party ticket, lost quite miserably.

PTI’s Punjab Senior Minister Aslam Iqbal also claims that he has four to five PML-N MPA’s approaching him with an intention of quitting the PML-N.

The outcome of the dissolution of both assemblies will most likely in one way or the other spell disaster for the PDM-led coalition.

The ECP in a presser that later was claimed to be issued without prior approval, made it clear that the election will be held in 90 days in case of dissolution of assemblies and six days in case members resign.

This apparently was aimed at deflating PTI’s hopes of fresh elections. But fresh elections as it stands are only drawing the attention away from another even bigger advantage that the PTI stands to gain from the dissolution of both assemblies.

PTI Senior Minister Aslam Iqbal talking to a private TV channel did state that they would go for general elections in Punjab before Ramazan, irrespective of when the general elections are held in the centre, which indicates that the PTI has a plan within a plan.

Currently, the available options with the PML-N are bringing a no-confidence motion against the CM by asking the governor to seek a vote of confidence and governor’s rule.

However, PPP leader Hasan Murtaza clarified that they would not support governor’s rule at any cost, claiming that they had communicated the same to the PML-N.

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