Elahi's political star still shining

PTI boasts majority in Punjab Assembly to win trust vote

Hasnaat Malik December 24, 2022
Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. PHOTO: FILE


Despite political headwinds, Chief Minister Punjab Pervaiz Elahi has so far emerged victorious in the ongoing political crisis in the province as the Lahore High Court's relief leaves at his disposal ample time to pull off the number game for the vote of confidence.

On the other hand, the court's order drew mixed reactions from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) — the biggest opposition party in provincial Assembly — even as its objective to forestall the dissolution of assembly has been achieved as the legislature cannot be scuttled till January 11.

However, the prime desire of the PML-N to recapture the Punjab throne may not be fulfilled as the LHC has given a appropriate period to complete the numbers before taking vote of confidence in the assembly.

"We were convinced that the LHC would accept CM petition against denotification but we were also sure that Elahi would be bound to take oath of confidence as per governor's earlier order," said a PML-N legal team member.

Moreover, it was learnt that the party was holding deliberations on whether the LHC interim order should be challenged in the apex court or not.

Read more: LHC restores Elahi as Punjab CM

According to one of the legal minds of PML-N, the LHC has given relief to the Elahi without issuing notice to the other side.

He believed that luck was also favouring Elahi as the political crisis emerged at the time when superior courts' judges are on winter vacations. Furthermore, two members of the larger bench of the LHC will not be available in next weeks.

Likewise, only two-member bench of the apex court is sitting at Islamabad Registry.

The federal government sources are claiming that PTI-PMLQ alliance's numbers in the Punjab Assembly fell short of winning the trust vote. They believe that it was not only impossible for CM Elahi to take vote of confidence currently but also in future, if powerful circles do not support him.

However, a PTI leader claimed that following the high court's ruling, there ample time to complete the number in Punjab Assembly. He said that a few MPAs who were out of the country will return soon.

CM Elahi may take vote of confidence before the next date of hearing, he added.

It was also learnt that majority of the PTI MPAs were not interested in dissolution of assembly. However, PTI Chief Imran Khan wants early elections in order to avoid disqualification in Toshakhana case.

However, officials in the federal government predict that Islamabad district & session judge would wrap up trial against Imran Khan in Toshakhana case by February 15.

A PTI lawyer said that prevailing political situation in Punjab was "a message to Imran Khan that everything was still in the hands of establishment".

He also admitted that Chaudharys of Gujarat were asset for the powerful circles and they would be secured at every cost.

Political analysts said the PTI had so far failed to maintain a cordial relationship with the powerful circles, who also did not want the dissolution of any assembly -- as revealed by CM Elahi in a recent interview.

A PTI leader disclosed that Elahi had suggested that the Imran-led party should not dissolve the assembly immediately and try to resume the cordial ties with the powerful circles like the ones it had before the 2018 general elections.

Likewise, PTI MPAs are getting millions of rupees development funds in election year. Therefore they want the continuity of the Punjab government.

Since March, there has been instability in Punjab.


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