Ch Shujat declares support for Parvez Elahi

LAHORE    –   An important development concerning Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf’s petition chal­lenging Hamza Shehbaz’s election as the Punjab Chief Minister; and Monday’s court decision about five reserved seats to be allocated to the PTI appear to have revived hopes and passion in Ch Parvez Ela­hi’s camp about an anticipat­ed runoff voting for Punjab chief minister’s election.

During a hearing on PTI’s petition on Tuesday, one of the members of the five-judge bench Tuesday re­marked that there could be a second ballot for chief min­ister’s election and the can­didate having a majority of votes out of the existing strength in Punjab Assembly could be declared the win­ner. The honourable judge also asked Punjab Advocate General Shahzad Shaukat to seek his client’s opinion about it. He also remarked that the deputy speaker can preside over the Assembly sitting which may be held to elect the new chief min­ister. A final decision about a runoff ballot or otherwise is expected today (Wednes­day). In this background, the PTI and the PML-Q leaders are upbeat about the pros­pects of a second ballot for the chief minister’s election in Punjab. The PTI chairman Imran Khan Tuesday predict­ed an imminent fall of Ham­za Shehbaz’s government af­ter the favorable remarks coming from the LHC bench. Ch Parvez Elahi Tuesday said he was ready to contest the chief minister’s election if the court passed such an or­der. He also rejected reports of disunity in the PML-Q say­ing all rumors in this regard were baseless. “The Pakistan Muslim League is one and shall remain united”, he said. Also, the PML-Q president Ch Shujat Hussain Tuesday denied the PML-N’s claim of supporting Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab Assembly. “Ch Parvez Elahi is our candidate and the PML MPAs will vote for Ch Parvez Elahi. Don’t try to mislead any of our MPAs by spreading false rumors”, Ch Shujat said in a statement here. He also said that PML MPAs had always adhered to party discipline and they would support Ch Parvez Elahi. Ch Shujat further stat­ed that he had always spoken the truth and also preached for speaking the truth. “Such baseless rumors should not be spread”, he warned. Meanwhile, given the current party position in Punjab As­sembly, the PML-N led alli­ance is having an edge over the PTI-PML-Q alliance. The PML-N and PPP enjoy sup­port of 176 members where­as the combined strength of the Opposition will touch the figure of 173 if the PTI gets all the five reserved seats back as directed by the LHC. In the given situation, Ch Parvez Elahi can make an up­set only in case he manag­es to win over the support of four independents in the Punjab Assembly. Three of the four independents have already pledged support for Hamza Shehbaz while Ch Ni­sar Ali Khan is still maintain­ing neutrality.

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