LAHORE - It has now turned out to a reality that Imran’s victory in July elections was also a personal triumph for Ch Parvez Elahi after five years in the political wilderness.

The seasoned politician from Gujrat had his lucky dip in the recent elections. He is now a Speaker-in-waiting with only 10 provincial seats in hand. 

Ch Parvez Elahi was in the media spotlight throughout the session. Surrounded by TV cameras and supporters, he was welcomed in the House by the PTI and PML-Q members in a manner as if he was the Leader of the House.

He mingled up with the members-elect and shook hands with many of them. 

By his gestures, Parvez seemed determined to convert this opportunity into a good fortune to stay relevant in politics for the next five years and even beyond.

Many say he would use his new office for politicking to make inroads into the PML-N ranks.

After having served as Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the biggest province, it was unbecoming of his present stature to assume Speaker’s role for the second time after two decades.

He was elected Speaker Punjab Assembly after 1997 general elections.

Parvez was in the limelight also because of the reason that no towering personality from the PTI has returned in the new Assembly.

It was also so because of another reason: The PTI has not yet disclosed its nominee for the new Chief Minister. Had it announced the name by this time, the Chief Minister-in-waiting might have been in the focus instead of the PML-Q leader. 

Aleem Khan who now seems to be out of the race for the coveted slot made a quite entry into the Assembly chambers.

He took a seat on the back benches away from the media gaze. His arrival in the House was not even noticed by his party colleagues present there in large numbers.

Taking it as a fait accompli, the PML-N members sat on the Opposition benches wearing black bands around their arms as a token of protest.

They believe the PTI had got a fake mandate in July elections. Also present on other side of the aisle were the 12 ex-Ministers of Shehbaz Sharif’s Cabinet with doom and gloom writ large in their faces.

Clad in blue Shalwar Kameez and black waist coat, a grim-faced and silent Hamza Shehbaz sat on the Bench meant for the Opposition leader.

A novice in the Punjab Assembly, Hamza watched the House proceedings with great patience till his name was called to affix signature on the members roll call. As he seemed in a pensive mood for obvious reasons, Hamza was unmoved by the sloganeering raised by his colleagues when he made his maiden entry into the House.

Rounds of applause occasionally coming from the party legislators also failed to impress the PML-N leader.

Khawaja Saad Rafique who has returned to the Assembly after around two decades sat close to him. A grim determination to fight back against all odds was visible on Saad’s face as he conversed with Hamza quite frequently.

Chairam PCB, Najam Sethi sat in the Speaker’s gallery to witness the oath taking of his wife Jugnu Mohsin.

She is one of the three independents who have opted not to join any party.

But the word has it that she might vote for the PTI nominees for various slots to be filled in the next two days.

The new Assembly has got an ex-Senator as its member.

Mohsin Leghari is the second Senator who returned to the provincial House for the second time.

Before him, former President Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari who was elected Senator in 1974 also served a brief term as Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly after 1988 elections.

Late Farooq Leghari was later elected as MNA in a by-election the same year and became Federal Minister for Power in the Cabinet of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. 

The new House missed the presence of former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah who has now become part of the National Assembly. He was the most vibrant voice of the PML-N in the previous Assembly.