The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is trying to create a rift within its ally, the Pakistan Peoples Party, by nominating the latter’s candidate for the post of Punjab Assembly deputy speaker without informing its leadership.
A senior PPP leader said while responding to a question – why PPP MPA Ali Haider Gillani did not file his nomination papers for the post, giving the PTI candidate a walkover.
The joint opposition parties’ candidate, Ali Gillani, did not file his nomination papers for the deputy speaker’s elections that were held on Saturday.
According to several news TV channels, Gillani had not filed his nomination papers in protest against the way the election process for the speaker’s election was carried out.
The senior PPP leader, however, denied the media reports, saying that the PML-N was trying to play dirty by bypassing their party leadership and nominating a PPP MPA for the deputy speaker’s elections on their own.
“Neither the provincial hierarchy nor the central party leadership was informed about the decision,” he said, adding that secondly, who gave the PML-N the right to decide which PPP MPA would contest the deputy speaker’s slot. “This was his party’s (PPP) prerogative.”
Gillani told The Express Tribune on Wednesday after a joint coalition partner parliamentary meeting that the PML-N proposed the PPP to pitch its members for the speaker’s elections.
He said his party would either nominate Hasan Murtaza or him for the position.
Interestingly, the position that Gillani claimed was offered to the PPP was retained by the PML-N, as they had nominated their own MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar, a not so popular name in the PML-N, for the position of the Punjab Assembly speaker. Malook’s nomination did ruffle some feathers in the PML-N but given his ties with Jati Umrah, the honour was bestowed upon him.
Surprisingly, it was revealed that the offer even on Wednesday was made just to Gillani, and the party’s parliamentary head was not taken on board regarding the decision.
The source said if the PML-N wanted PPP to nominate their speaker, they should have contacted the party. “Even on Saturday, the provincial leadership came to know about the decision of nominating Ali Gillani for the deputy speaker’s elections through the media.”
He said that since the leadership had not given any approval, Gillani did not file his nomination papers, adding that the PML-N had earlier tried playing with the party in a similar fashion while nominating cabinet ministers from their party.
Gillani was reached multiple times, but he was not available for comments. PPP MPA Usman Mehmood told The Express Tribune that it was out of protest that they did not file the nomination papers.
He said that the speaker’s elections were held in an unfair manner, which they had challenged in the court.
To a question as to why the deputy speaker’s elections were boycotted due to the said “dubiousness” during the process of the speaker’s elections as both had no correlation, he said he was not privy to why exactly these elections were boycotted.