ISLAMABAD   -    The main opposition parties are undecided over the name of possible new Senate chairman while there is also division on whether Sadiq Sanjrani should be removed from the Senate top slot at all, political sources said.

Sources in the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) told The Nation that there were two opinions on replacing Sanjrani despite opposition’s reservations over his performance.

The sources said the PPP and the PML-N Senators were not unanimous to oust Sanjrani but had left it to the top leadership to decide his fate.

Last night, former President Asif Ali Zardari had said the opposition parties will finalise the name of new Chairman Senate soon. “We have the numbers to replace the Senate chairman. We will decide about it soon. All the opposition parties will decide the name of new chairman,” he added. He maintained that Sadiq Sanjrani had not taken any meaningful initiative as the Senate Chairman.

The Pakistan People’s Party co-Chairman said the All Parties Conference this week was successful. He said all opposition parties will together finalise the future strategy which will be good news for the people.

Political sources said the PML-N wanted its nominee to replace Sadiq Sanjrani because the PPP already has its man - Saleem Mandviwalla - as the Deputy Chairman.

“There are chances that a member of some third party will be nominated if the PPP does not accept the PML-N claim,” said one source.

Yesterday, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif chaired a parliamentary parties meeting in Islamabad.

Insiders said not all the lawmakers supported his suggestion to replace Sanjrani. “Majority still wants to replace Sanjrani but the unanimity is lacking (in the PML-N),” said a PML-N leader.

PPP leaders said there were a few people opposing the move to replace the Senate chairman but the decision by Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be respected.

“Some lawmakers think he (Sanjrani) should be allowed to continue but all have given the authority to take a decision to the leadership,” said a close aide of the Bhutto family.

Yesterday, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said the opposition had in principle decided to remove the Senate Chairman. “The opposition’s committee will decide its joint candidate for the top office of the Senate with consensus,” he told the journalists here.

Kaira added: “The PPP had supported the incumbent Senate Chairman (in the last year’s election) but now the circumstances have changed.” He said the stances change in the politics with changing realities and it is part of the democratic process.

In a statement, PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry said: “Senate chairman is a symbol of selection and we want to honour the vote instead of selection.”

The joint committee of the opposition parties will likely to pass a resolution advising Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to tender his resignation to avoid a no-confidence move against him in the house. If the chairman does not resign after the resolution then the opposition parties would move a no-confidence motion against him. Sanjrani had recently held a meeting Ali Zardari and sought his support to avoid the no-confidence motion against him.

Sanjrani was elected Senate Chairman in March last year with the support of the PPP, PTI, and a group of independent Senators from Balochistan.