PTI tells ‘reluctant’ CM it’s ready to quit Punjab govt

‘PTI would quit both the provincial government and assembly in case the issue of the dissolution lingered on’


Hasnaat Malik January 06, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan meets with Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi at the Chief Minister’s House. photo: nni

ISLAMABAD:

It seems the dynamics of politics is changing in Punjab as the PTI has conveyed to Chief Minister Parvez Elahi that in case the matter of the dissolution of the provincial assembly lingered on, their MPAs would quit the government as well as the legislature.

The numbers are complete for the Punjab CM, a PML-Q stalwart, to take a vote of confidence, but he is reluctant to do so.

Sources in the PTI told The Express Tribune that the party had informed Elahi that in case the issue of the dissolution lingered on, it would quit both the provincial government and assembly.

A senior PTI leader also confirmed that the message had been conveyed to the Punjab chief minister about quitting the government.

In the Punjab Assembly, now the issue is not between the PTI and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

“It is between the PTI and PML-Q,” he added.

The PTI leader claimed that his party had the required number of MPAs in the provincial assembly that the CM could take a vote of confidence before January 11.

“We are even willing to give more seats to the PML-Q numbers through an adjustment formula in the next general elections if CM Elahi dissolves the Punjab Assembly as per [PTI chief] Imran Khan's desire,” he said.

However, it has been learnt that the numbers are short for taking a vote of confidence by the CM in the assembly.

Likewise, Elahi is not making any efforts to complete the numbers.

Earlier, the PTI had decided that Elahi would take a vote of confidence before the January 11 hearing in the Lahore High Court.

It was also announced that after taking a vote of confidence, Elahi would send a summary to the governor for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

The PTI sources maintained that some PML-N MPAs were in contact with their party for its tickets.

They said that Elahi did not want to annoy the ‘powerful circles' by dissolving the assembly.

They claimed that the Punjab chief minister had told the PTI that the elections would not be held in the near future.

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

PTI MPAs are receiving millions of rupees in development funds in the election year.

Also read: Tarar claims PML-N 'defeated' PTI in assembly’s dissolution strategy

Therefore, they want the continuity of the Punjab government.

Since March, there has been political instability in Punjab.

On the early dissolution of the provincial assembly, PML-N leaders believe that the PTI chief is in a hurry to avoid his disqualification.

It is not clear as to whether or not the Elahi faction within the PML-Q will adjust seats or contest the next elections on PTI tickets.

Professor Tahir Naeem Malik said the politics of the Chaudhrys was based on factionalism as they had a vote bank in a few areas of Punjab, including Gujrat, Talagang, Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, etc.

On the other hand, the PTI’s politics was based on national issues, meaning both parties had different vote banks, he added.

Professor Malik believed that except Gujrat and a few other constituencies, the PML-Q led by Elahi could not succeed in securing any seat in the rest of the province without the support of the PTI as was witnessed in the 2018 general elections.

In view of the delay in the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly, the PTI has postponed its decision to approach the Supreme Court for the acceptance of its MNAs’ resignations.

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