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Today is big day for Punjab politics, PTI and coalition govt will expose power

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Sanaullah claims 50 PTI MPAs can vote for Hamza Shahbaz as CM Punjab. They will either vote in Hamza’s favour or not vote at all

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LAHORE: Today, Friday is a big day for Punjab politics when the chief minister for the province would be elected showing clear power game between PTI and Coalition provincial government.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Thursday that 50 PTI members of Punjab Assembly (MPAs) can vote for PML-N’s chief minister candidate Hamza Shahbaz on July 22 (tomorrow) — claiming that they might violate their party’s policy.

Hamza Sharif

“Not five, but 50 PTI MPAs can either use their right to vote [for Hamza] or they might refrain from casting their votes altogether,” the interior minister claimed while addressing a press conference.

Sanaullah said “politically aware” lawmakers, who might understand PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s “wrongdoing”, will not support their party’s nominated candidate — Pervez Elahi — for Punjab’s top office.

The interior minister claimed that “Elahi does not deserve to become the chief minister” and demanded he voluntarily withdraws from the race.

He added that honourable lawmakers should “not waste” their votes by on the PML-Q leader, who Khan had earlier termed a “dacoit”.

Pervaiz Elahi

“We will use all our political options to the fullest,” the interior minister vowed as he said that the PML-N was in contact with the opposition lawmakers.

“The ones in PTI, who still have a conscience, will not vote for Elahi,” the interior minister said — just a day after he stated, “PML-N will not let the Elahi become the provincial chief executive easily.”

Before his press conference, Sanaullah, while speaking during Geo News’ claimed that two lawmakers of the PML-N took money to switch allegiance ahead of the chief minister’s election in Punjab.

Sanaullah accused the PTI of spreading propaganda and alleged that the two rebellious PML-N MPAs — Mian Jaleel Ahmed Sharaqpuri and Ghayas-ud-Din — took Rs100 million each to switch party loyalties.

Seats chart Punjab Assembly

“These 20 seats belonged to the PTI, five of which have been claimed by the PML-N. We will lead with a two-thirds majority when PML-N and PTI will come face to face,” Sanaullah said.

He further added that if the Supreme Court summons him to prove his allegation, he will tell the Court how the money was distributed and upon whose direction.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on Thursday.

Following the ruling of the Supreme Court, a run-off election for the chief minister of Punjab is slated for Friday, where Elahi will face off against the incumbent chief minister, Hamza.

After the recent upset in the by-election, the PTI has swelled its ranks in the Punjab assembly to 188 votes, much above the 186 votes it needs for a simple majority in the House. While the PML-N and its allies have the support of 180 MPAs.

Imran warns institutions of ‘uncontrollable public anger’

PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned institutions to brace for “consequences” if the public mandate was “stolen” in Punjab chief minister’s election on Friday, saying he wont be able to “hold back” masses if their vote was “disrespected”.

He issued this warning in an address to the nation a day before the crucial Punjab Assembly session to elect the new provincial chief executive after the PTI recently won 15 out of 20 seats in the by-elections in the province last Sunday.

Imran also lambasted the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, saying his party “will never” contest general elections under the current CEC, as he called him “dishonest and anti-PTI”.

Shujaat backs Pervaiz Elahi

Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) President Ch Shujaat Hussain has made it clear that Ch Pervaiz Elahi will be the candidate for the Punjab Chief Minister slot.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairing Federal Cabinet meeting in Islamabad which reviewed the political situation especially in Punjab.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Ch Shujaat has clearly stated that Elahi would be the candidate of party for CM election. He said that he had made it clear not once but two or three times before.

He said he was not releasing any letter announcing his decision as it was obvious and ‘I do not need to clarify myself any more’.

On the current political situation, the senior PML-Q leader said that those who achieved mandate had got the right to govern the country. He advised politicians to forget about the number game and try to solve country’s problems. He urged them to take steps to mitigate poor man’s problems.

ISLAMABAD: PTI’s chairman Imran Khan warns institutions of ‘uncontrollable public anger’ if Punjab CM election is engineered.

“Those who will solve poor people’s problems, they will actually get the required numbers,” Shujaat said barring fellow politicians from pulling each other’s legs.

“There is only one solution which could solve country’s problems: either let the government complete its tenure or conduct immediate elections. Immediate elections means government should conduct polls right now, not after a delay of several months,” he added.