‘Game over for PML-N in Punjab’, PTI claims | Pakistan Today

‘Game over for PML-N in Punjab’, PTI claims

  • Fawad Chaudhry says PTI has managed to secure support on 144 seats in Centre, 180 in Punjab, including reserved seats
  • PPP set to form govt in Sindh, BAP to clinch top slot in Balochistan  
  • PML-N gets in touch with disgruntled Chaudhry Nisar for support in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday claimed to have acquired the required numbers to form governments in the Centre, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces while it plans to form the government in Balochistan along with its allies.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Senator Pervez Rashid did not refute PTI’s claim, saying that Imran Khan was going to form a government on “crutches”, which conflicted with the claims made in the PTI manifesto.

PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, while talking to the media, claimed that his party has achieved the support of 168 members out of the nearly 330 National Assembly seats that have been filled through the July 25 election, including reserved seats. He added that the PTI had also won over 180 members of Punjab Assembly, enabling it to form a government in the largest province of the country.

“Today, another 10 independent members of Punjab Assembly have joined the PTI, besides two additional members of National Assembly,” he said, and added that the PTI would form governments in the center, Punjab, KP and Balochistan.

Fawad said that the number of PTI members in National Assembly had reached 144 along with the reserved seats, which also included seven independents, four members of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), six lawmakers of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), four members of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and two members of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).

He claimed that around 10 seats would be vacated by candidates successful from more than one constituency, and noted that the remaining two seats (out of the house of 342) had had their elections postponed.

PTI POISED TO CLINCH TOP SLOT IN PUNJAB:

Punjab, the largest province of the country, is the battleground between PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as both parties are putting up maximum efforts to grab the top slot in the province.

The PML-N had emerged as the biggest party in Punjab Assembly with 129 seats while the PTI managed to get 123 seats in the July 25 election. Both the parties then started to win over support from other likeminded groups to form a government.

However, it seems that the PTI, owing to its influence due to winning the election at the Center, has been able to attract the independent candidates to its fold, enabling it to form a government in Punjab.

Briefing about the party’s strength for forming a government in the province, the PTI spokesperson said that with the joining of 10 more independents on Monday, the PTI’s number had reached 149.

For a simple majority, a party needs the support of at least 149 directly elected MPAs out of 297 general members to form the government. The PML-Q’s eight members in Punjab Assembly have also announced their support for the PTI.

“Another 21 days are left for summoning the session. We are not in a hurry to announce PTI’s teams,” he said.

Fawad Chaudhry said that if reserved seats are to be included, the PTI’s number would cross 180 members, which he claimed was enough to claim a majority in Punjab Assembly. He said that fourteen members of the Punjab Assembly had already joined the PTI while four more were going to join on Monday night.

PML-Q THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND PTI:

About Imran Khan’s meeting with PML-Q leadership, Fawad said that both the parties had agreed on a formula which would be implemented.

“PML-Q would be PTI’s coalition partner in the center and in Punjab. We have agreed on a formula under which due share would be given to the PML-Q,” he said, making clear that PTI would have its own chief minister in Punjab.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with PTI chairman Imran Khan, MPAs-elect Saeed Akbar Niwani from PP-90 Bhakkar, Ameer Muhammad Khan from PP-89 Bhakkar and Fida Wattoo from Bahawalnagar announced to join the PTI. Abdul Hai Dasti from PP-270 Muzaffargarh, who had announced his support for PTI on Sunday, also met Khan.

Expecting to rope in 10 more independents in the next two days and with the support of PML-Q’s eight seats, the PTI leaders had been tweeting “Game over for PML-N”.

Meanwhile, the PTI also managed to garner the support of two independent members-elect of National Assembly. MNAs-elect Sanaullah Mastikhel from Bhakkar and Ghaffar Wattoo from Bahawalnagar announced joining the party after calling on Imran Khan.

PTI’s senior leader Jehangir Khan Tareen was present at the meeting. According to the press release, the PTI chairman welcomed the MNAs and MPAs-elect into the party.

Meanwhile, PML-N is still striving hard to convince the independent MPAs-elect for support in forming a government in Punjab, whereas PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah also failed to woo Maulana Muavia Azam and Taimur Bhatti.

Earlier, an independent MPA-elect from Okara, Jugnu Mohsin held a meeting with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

The PML-N has also approached party dissident Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, seeking his support to form the government in Punjab.

The party claims that at least 13 independent candidates have pledged their support for the PML-N and it now needs the support of four more independent candidates to reach the minimum count — 148 — to form the government in Punjab.

In a statement, PML-N leader Senate Mushahid Hussain said his party was positive that it will form the government in the province. “We have more members in the Punjab Assembly and it is our right to form the government here,” he observed.

PPP LEADS IN SINDH:

In Sindh Assembly, out of 130 seats, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has secured the highest number of 76 seats. The PTI secured 23 seats while Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) won 16, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan won two, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) one and Grand Democratic Alliance won 11 seats. Hence, the PPP is going to form its government single-handedly.

The PTI has, however, announced that it would get in touch with other coalition partners and form a strong opposition in Sindh.

PTI DOMINATES KP:

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly, the ECP has received results of 96 out of total 97 seats out of which PTI secured 66 seats while MMA, Awami National Party (ANP), PML-N and PPP won on 10, six, five and four seats respectively.

The PTI has already won a two-thirds majority and is poised to form the government in KP independently.

Though Imran Khan is all set to announce KP chief minister, former KP CM Pervez Khattak is lobbying to win the slot again and has held a meeting of his likeminded group in Peshawar to shore up further strength his candidacy for the provincial top slot – a step being seen in Banigala residence of Imran Khan as a rebellion.

When asked to comment, Fawad Chaudhry said that PTI’s politics surrounds around Imran Khan’s vision and the party chief would name chief ministers and cabinet members.

When asked about Pervez Khattak’s separate meetings with the newly elected MPs in Peshawar to build pressure for winning chief minister’s slot, Fawad Chaudhry said that politicians do lobbying to clinch top slots.

“However, one must understand that decisions are to be taken by Imran Khan and all would have to follow the party chairman,” he added.

BAP TO FORM GOVT IN BALOCHISTAN:

Meanwhile, in Balochistan Assembly, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) and MMA have clinched majority seats. The BAP has emerged as the largest party in the province with 15 provincial assembly seats with MMA in the second place with nine. PTI has won four seats, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) has secured one and PML-N has also won one seat. Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) of Shahzain Bugti has won a single seat while five independent candidates have also won in the province.

BAP is set to form the government as four members of PTI and two members each of BNP-A, Awami National Party and Hazara Democratic Party are likely to support BAP’s candidate for chief minister’s slot.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]



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