PPP, PML-Q make last-minute effort for Chan’s Senate bid

Published March 5, 2015
Joint candidate of PPP and PML-Q for Senate’s Chan claims that he had a good number of friends in the PML-N camp and expresses the hope they would vote for him.—Photo courtesy: NA website
Joint candidate of PPP and PML-Q for Senate’s Chan claims that he had a good number of friends in the PML-N camp and expresses the hope they would vote for him.—Photo courtesy: NA website

LAHORE: While the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is accused of indirectly helping the PML-N by not contesting the Senate election in Punjab, the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid on Wednesday made last-minute contact with a good number of treasury MPAs asking them to vote for opposition’s Nadeem Afzal Chan.

“I don’t claim that I will win but I am quite optimistic that my friends in the treasury will prefer giving me first priority vote,” Mr Chan, a joint candidate of PPP and PML-Q for Senate’s general seat, told Dawn.

Claiming that he had a good number of friends in the PML-N camp, Chan expressed the hope they would vote for him.

“The PML-N government through DPOs and DCOs is trying to influence the MPAs. Even today in the Punjab Assembly some four DPOs were present. The PML-N MPAs’ are being forced to make commitment (for vote) under an oath,” he said.

Not happy over the PTI’s boycott of the Senate election in Punjab, Mr Chan said: “The PTI’s decision is in fact helping the PML-N in the Senate election in Punjab which shows Imran Khan’s party still needs to learn a lot in politics.”

The PPP and PML-Q have even tried to persuade some PTI members to vote for Mr Chan in order to block the way of the PML-N to bag Senate chairman and vice-chairman slots as there will be a close contest on these seats.

“The PTI members should turn up in the Punjab Assembly and vote for the opposition’s candidate,” Mr Chan who also remained Public Accounts Committee chairman in the National Assembly said.

Mr Chan requires at least 35 first priority votes in Thursday (today) polling at the Punjab Assembly.

The PPP and PML-Q have eight votes each. Three independent candidates – Ali Raza Khan Dreshik, Ali Salman and Ahsan Fatyana -- have reportedly pledged their support to Mr Chan. The opposition is also in contact with Abdul Razzak and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Dr Wasim Akhtar for their votes.

“We need some 15 more votes to elect Mr Chan as Senator,” PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Qazi Ahmed Saeed, told Dawn. He said the opposition’s candidate would give a tough time to the ruling PML-N.

“We fail to understand the PTI’s politics. On one hand it claims to be real opposition and on the other it is indirectly favouring the PML-N candidate in Punjab. This shows the PTI leadership lacks political wisdom,” Mr Saeed said.

The PTI has some 30 seats in the Punjab Assembly. Its members had submitted resignations when Imran Khan was leading a sit-in at Islamabad last August. Although the Punjab Assembly speaker has not yet accepted the resignations, the PTI sticks to its stance that the house has “fake mandate”.

The PML-N is likely to grab 12 seats - six general and two each for women and technocrats - out of total 13 straight away.

Mr Chan is the only hope of the opposition on a general seat. Malik Sher Langrial and Sarwat Malik are the other two opposition candidates on technocrats and women’s seats, respectively.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2015

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