PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah on Saturday claimed that the opposition was in touch with "more than enough" government lawmakers required to "abolish" Prime Minister Imran Khan's vote of confidence in the parliament.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the opposition alliance of which Sanaullah's party is also a member, is currently planning to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister, who had won his vote of confidence from the National Assembly last year by securing 178 votes — six more than required.
While the opposition did not have enough numbers to oust the prime minister back then, Sanaullah is confident that the situation would be different this time.
Talking to the media in Lahore today, the PML-N leader said: "More people than are required to abolish their (government's) vote of confidence — their own people — are ready to leave them and in contact with us (the opposition) as well."
The PML-N leader said the government's own members were "frustrated" with it and no longer wished to conduct politics or contest next elections alongside it.
He said the leadership of the PML-N and other opposition parties would decide and announce whether a no-confidence move would be brought in the Punjab Assembly first or the Centre.
"The people who are with us are with us. Even if they have later talked about them (their talks) differently in front of the press, we don't have a grievance about it," Sanaullah said, possibly referring to the recent talks held between the PML-N and PML-Q leadership, following which PML-Q's Moonis Elahi had publicly assured the premier that he did not need to worry about the meetings.
Sanaullah said the opposition was in talks with the government's allies and "we have full trust there."
Questioning the government's continued stance that it faces no threat from the opposition, the PML-N leader said that if that was the case then why the number of ministries were being increased and development funds being doled out in different constituencies.
"This proves what they were saying [about us] was wrong ... with the people's prayers the no-confidence move will be successful."
He also said the opposition was not looking towards any "umpire's finger" — a reference to the establishment's support — and demanded that no "finger" should interfere in the political process. "Politics is the job of political parties," he added, stressing that all institutions should work within their constitutional limits.
"If all institutions did this, then it would not make a difference whether a presidential or parliamentary system was present in the country," Sanaullah said.
The PML-N lawmaker also lashed out at PM Imran's speech in Mandi Bahauddin, claiming that the premier was concerned with crushing dissent and its critics such as Mohsin Jamil Baig and the opposition instead of focusing on issues of law and order in the country.
Sanaullah also criticised the government for "failing to provide proof" in the accusations and cases registered against the opposition such as himself and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.
'Imran Khan will go home before Mar 23'
PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb made similar comments as Sanaullah during a press conference in Lahore today.
"The nation has rejected you," she said while addressing the prime minister. "You will get to know how many of PTI's people are left with you in the no-confidence motion. As for these remaining few rented spokespersons, not a single one will be standing with you when you lose the seat [of power]."
Aurangzeb said the time had come for Prime Minister Imran to go home, predicting he would do so before the Pakistan Democratic Movement's long march towards Islamabad on March 23.
She also said the opposition's preparations and strategy for the no-confidence move were complete. "Today is the right time when the opposition and their own people are united and ready to send them home," she added.