Elahi cannot become Punjab CM, says Zardari | The Express Tribune

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership for remaining a part of the ruling coalition and said Chaudhry Pervez Elahi can never become the chief minister of Punjab as he lacks the required votes.

Addressing a press conference alongside PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Balochistan-based MNA Aslam Bhootani, Zardari said they invited the Q-League to become part of their movement to ‘save Pakistan’ but due to its shortsightedness, the Punjab-based party went to the other side.

“Pervaiz Elahi can never become the chief minister of Punjab as he doesn’t have the required votes,” he said, adding that the change of hearts by the Chaudhrys was perplexing. He said the next chief minister will be from the opposition as it has the required number in the province.

In response to a question, Zardari said he relieved that the establishment “was neutral”.

Read Rana Sanaulla holds Moonis Elahi responsible for PML-Q’s decision

Speaking on the occasion, PPP Chairperson Bilawal said it was the habit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to level false accusations and added the opposition has more than enough numbers to dislodge Imran Khan. He said the PPP wanted to have “long-lasting relations with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P)” for the uplift of Karachi.

Aslam Bhootani said he has also joined the opposition alliance for the sake of Zardari. “I am hugely indebted to Zardari and I will go anywhere he will ask me,” he added.

The statement comes in the wake of a deal between the ruling PTI and the Punjab-based party wherein Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to give the coveted slot of the Punjab chief minister to Pervaiz Elahi in return for the support on the no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition.

Also read: ‘Family, party on same page,’ Shujaat rejects reports of rift in PML-Q

The deal reportedly prompted a rift within the party with Tariq Bashir Cheema revolting against the decision and announcing to vote against PM Imran. Cheema also resigned from the federal cabinet, giving rise to speculations regarding a rift in the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.

In response to the reports in the media about the rift, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said all decisions were taken after consultations with him. “I endorse all these decisions,” he said, adding that the “rumours” making rounds in the media were false.

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