Punjab standoff continues as govt decides to de-notify CM Parvez Elahi: sources

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Lahore: Standoff in Punjab continues as Chief Minister Parvez Elahi did not get a vote of confidence on Wednesday from the provincial assembly as directed by Governor Balighur Rehman, with the federal government now considering to de-notify the CM according to sources.

Enjoying a very thin majority over the opposition in the province, CM Parvez Elahi received the full confidence of its PML-Q MPAs. CM Elahi and PML-Q Parliamentary Leader Sajid Bhatti presided over the PML-Q parliamentary party meeting at the CM office on Wednesday, in which the political situation came under a comprehensive review along with chalking out future strategy. The PML-Q parliamentary party members reposed their complete trust in the leadership of CM Parvez Elahi.

With the support of 10 MPAs of the PML-Q, the Chief Minister now enjoys the support of 187 members in the provincial assembly — 177 MPAs belong to the PTI.

However, it has been learned that the PML-N has started consultations with its allies at the Governor House. Their plan is to forestall the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly as announced by Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan.

In a bid to compel the government to go into early elections, Imran Khan on December 17 announced that two provincial assemblies, i.e. Punjab and KP, would be dissolved on December 23.

Governor Punjab Balighur Rehman Monday asked Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to “obtain a vote of confidence” as he was “satisfied” the CM “does not command the confidence of the majority” of the MPAs.

However, Punjab Assembly (PA) Speaker Sibtain Khan Tuesday disposed of the order, saying the instructions were “against the Constitution and Rules of Procedure”. He did not call the session on Wednesday when the CM had to take the vote of confidence from the house.

Reacting to the development, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Attaullah Tarar claimed that CM Elahi had lost the majority in the provincial assembly.

“If he has the support of 187 members, why is he reluctant to take the vote of confidence?” the PML-N leader asked while speaking to the media outside the governor’s house in Lahore.