LAHORE - The opposition parties in Punjab Assembly, which call themselves a joint opposition, are yet to develop any consensus over a petition challenging the Local Government Act, 2013 in a court of law.  The joint opposition at the same time is also not ready to contest local bodies’ polls expected this year from a single platform.

PTI’s Punjab president Ijaz Chaudhry told this correspondent on Thursday that PTI would neither opt for a joint petition challenging the Local Government Act, 2013 in a court of law nor it would contest local bodies’ polls from a single opposition platform.  He said, “PTI will independently challenge the LG Act in a court of law and it will also contest LB polls from its own party platform.”

It merits mentioning here that PPP Central Punjab president Mian Manzoor Wattoo, after informal meeting of the opposition parties including PTI and JI, had told the media on September 3 (Tuesday) that a joint opposition would challenge the LG Act, besides contesting the LB polls from a single platform.

Ijaz said, “PPP president had said that all the opposition parties would work together, while some media reports misunderstood the words of Manzoor Wattoo.”  He added that fielding the PTI-PPP joint candidates from a single platform would negate his party’s stance against the wrongdoings of the PPP while in power.  Ijaz further said, “We will make seat adjustments in the local bodies’ elections but preferably with the parties, which were not part of the former coalition government.”

He maintained that PTI being the main opposition party in Punjab might not be in need of assistance of any likeminded party to secure victory for its candidates in the LB polls.

When contacted, PML-Q Punjab general secretary, Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din said, “We have extended support to our colleagues in opposition for challenging the Local Government Act in a court of law, however, to file a joint petition against the Act is yet to be decided.”

Similarly, contesting LB polls from a single platform was a matter that could not be decided by merely issuing a statement, as such matters needed thorough deliberations, he added.

A JI leader when called said they were also considering to challenge the Act independently.  Regarding contesting local bodies’ polls from a single platform comprising opposition parties, he said JI could make seat adjustments with PTI but joining hands with PPP for electoral gains was out of question.

According to some opposition parties’ members, the utterances of PPP Punjab’s central president aimed at giving a shock treatment to the demoralised party ranks in the province.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, taking a different line said LG Act was against the spirit of democratic norms and demanded of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to take a suo moto action against the Act and declare it null and void.