LAHORE As the proposed constitutional package is expected to be tabled in the National Assembly in a few days in the form of 18th amendment, the apprehensions are that it may not be passed by the Senate due to non-cooperation of smaller parties and a few 'disgruntled Senators belonging to the PPP and its coalition partners. In the National Assembly, where the joint strength of the PPP, the PML-N and the PML-Q is enough to make two-third majority, the government would have a smooth sailing to get it through from the lower house even if its coalition partners - the MQM, ANP and the JUI-F - dont support the bill, which is a possibility if their concerns regarding provincial autonomy and other issues are not addressed in the new legislation. In a House of 342, three major parties have the collective strength of 270 members, whereas the required number for constitutional amendment is 228. In the Senate, however, the situation is somewhat different. The combined strength of the major parties is 57, also including one member each of the PML-F and PPP-S who are most likely to vote in favour of the bill. The smaller parties in the upper house, which include the MQM, ANP, JUI-F JWP, NP, PKMAP, BNP (Awami), JI, FATA and three independents, have got 44 votes, enough to block the proposed changes in the Constitution. Assuming that eight Senators from FATA would also support the proposed amendment, the government would still be short of one vote to get the required figure of 66, which makes two-third majority in a House of 100. So the support of smaller parties is essential to get rid of the controversial 17th amendment. These parties have already made it clear that if the issues of provincial autonomy, control over natural resources and re-naming of NWFP are not adequately addressed to in the proposed constitutional package, they would not vote for the 18th amendment. In this background, even more alarming are the reports that some Senators sitting on treasury benches and belonging to Balochistan and NWFP have warned that they would not vote for the amendment bill if they continue to be ignored by the government. The Senators already accommodated in the ministries are not among these 'disgruntled lawmakers, said the sources, adding that these Senators have numerous complaints against the government in respect of non-provision of development funds and some other matters. It is also likely that these Senators may form an alliance and use it as bargaining chip to get their demands accepted by the government. If their demands are not fulfilled, they may opt to absent themselves from the Senate on the day of voting on the bill, the sources further said. Informed circles also fear that 'powers that be may use these disgruntled elements and the smaller parties to keep the 17th amendment intact because they dont want to weaken the office of president, which had been a source of strength for them in the past. They want a person of their choice in the Presidency but would not like to make this office a mere rubber stamp vis--vis the office of prime minister keeping in view their 'bad experience of the 1997 when they had to confront a mighty prime minister, the sources explained.