Karachi - Opposition parties yesterday decided to let PPP’s Murad Ali Shah win the 27th crown of Sindh chief minister.

The Sindh Assembly is scheduled to meet for the election of chief minister today afternoon and Murad Ali Shah is most likely to take oath at the Governor’s House in the evening.

The major opposition party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) decided to boycott the voting in protest against, what they called, damage inflicted upon the party during the Qaim Ali Shah’s rule and the PML-F announced support to PPP after a meeting with Murad Ali in Dubai.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) fielded Khurram Sher Zaman as its candidate for the slot but it has only three seats in Sindh Assembly while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and National People’s Party are not participate in the process.

Sindh Assembly Secretary GM Umar Farooq received nomination papers of seven candidates, including four nomination papers of Murad Ali, two from Sikander Mandhro and Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar as his covering candidates and Khurram Zaman of PTI. The deadline for submission of the nomination papers expired yesterday and the scrutiny process was also completed.  Addressing a press conference, MQM’s Parliamentary Leader Syed Sardar Ahmed said that the party had decided to remain indifferent during the voting process for the new chief minister after consultation with the party lawmakers.

“We believe in participatory democracy and not conventional democratic system and therefore the party had decided to neither support nor oppose any candidate in the election of the chief minister,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that they mulled over the results they yielded after supporting unopposed candidacy for the Qaim Ali Shah and concluded that it was regretful for them to support him. “This house takes decision on the basis of majority of the PPP and therefore our support and opposition will not deter them to change their policies for the welfare of the people,” he said.

He said they were against any discrimination but the PPP had created differences among urban and rural population. “We will see if any change could come with the change of face in the provincial government but we are not so hopeful in this regard,” he added.

He said that it is the responsibility of the provincial government to give due rights to the people but unfortunately it had failed as children continue to die in Thar and the provincial authorities are continuing with looting the province. He further said that if the provincial government wanted to extend the Rangers powers then it should not made any difference among rural and urban areas and expand its parameter to the entire province.Talking to the media outside the Sindh Assembly, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani said that his vote would be in favour of PPP candidate and party legislators expressed confidence over leadership decision.

Agha said all the members of assembly would take part in the session while a letter has been written to Minister Prison and IG Prison for the arrangement for the presence and participation of MQM`s member Rauf Siddiuqi.  It is the constitutional right of every elected force to field its candidate for the election of chief minister slot said Agha while replying to a query.  To another query about the contact with MQM, he said that 24 hours we are in contact with MQM and party always wished to take all the stake holders on board for the prosperity of the province.

Meanwhile, Murad Ali Shah told the media that the party has not put any efforts to get the CM slot unopposed. He was flanked by ex-CM Qaim Ali Shah and Agha Siraj.

Farraz Israr/Abdullah Zafar