LAHORE - Brisk preparations are being made by the PML-N and the Tehrik-i-Insaaf Pakistan to hold their rallies in the provincial metropolis, which is regarded as political capital of the country, on October 28 and 30, respectively. Although the exercise is aimed to highlight the failures of the PPP government and mount pressure for fresh elections, both the parties are also trying to fathom their popularity in the city of some eight million people. So far the city belongs to the PML-N as except for a couple of National Assembly and Punjab Assembly seats all others were won by the nominees of Mian Nawaz Sharif in the 2008 elections, the PTI claims that the situation has changed now and most of the voters are in favour of a change under the leadership of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. The PTI is challenging a party which is in power in Punjab and is in a position to use public resources to make the event a success. Thus, in fact, there is no comparison between the two parties and, perhaps, the turnout at a rally would not be reflective of popularity of the organising party. Banners displayed by the PML-N at various places say that the rally is against crippling loadshedding, unbearable increase in electricity tariff and massive corruption. The PTIs posters say that the rally would mark the beginning of an anti-government campaign. The question is whether there is at all the need for the two rallies. And if they are to be held and public issues are to be discussed on roads, would it be right to conclude that there is no mechanism in the Constitution for a peaceful change of government? And if so, why the legislators belonging to all parties had failed to keep any provision for this purpose while they reviewed the entire Constitution through 18th and 19th Amendments? All parties were very happy after the two amendments and were proud of purging the basic law of what they called the distortions introduced by Gen Musharraf. But now it appears that there is no option available to the opposition parties to remove the president, no matter how much evidence they have got to establish that he is involved in corrupt practices. Similarly, the opposition cant do anything against the prime minister, who can only be removed through a no-confidence motion, which needs majority of the votes to get through. Ostensibly, there is need for some provision in the Constitution that can be used against the government even if it has overwhelming majority in the House. The legislators should think of empowering the opposition or even a common citizen to move the Supreme Court against the president and the government in case proofs are available against them. And if the apex court is satisfied that the president or the government committed serious irregularities, it should have the power to remove them without linking the procedure to the number of votes they have. In case such a provision is not incorporated in the Constitution, then the governments will be free to do anything during their tenures. As for the PML-Ns decision to hold the rally, observers say that it is in conflict with its argument against the two weekly off days. If the Punjab chief minister doesnt want to have two holidays only to be able to work more for the countrys most populous province, he should bear in mind that rallies would also waste peoples time. The issues the PML-N wants to raise in the rally can be discussed both in the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly. The PML-N is in a position to requisition a session of the National Assembly any time. It should exercise this option as frequently as it deems necessary. This would let the people know that the party is concerned about their problems, difficulties. Similarly, being the ruling party in Punjab it can call sessions of the Punjab Assembly any time it likes and discuss all issues. But, unfortunately, this platform has not been used judiciously. Legislators belonging to the treasury as well as the opposition stayed away from even the requisitioned sessions of the assembly and failed to transact any business. As a result, more than 10 million rupees of the exchequer went to the pockets of our elected representatives in a single day without their doing anything. This argument doesnt apply to Imran Khan. He has no representation in any House and thus cant use that platform. He has to address news conferences or rallies to air his views. In case the PML-N decided to hold a rally whenever the PTI organised one, there will be no end to the competition. This will simply mean that the PML-N has brought itself to the level of the PTI.