DAMAGE control exercise by Maulana Fazlur Rehman not withstanding, the notification of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as leader of the opposition in the Senate might ultimately prove the last proverbial nail in the coffin of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as it reflected a peak in differences among the component parties of the alliance.
It is, therefore, a foregone conclusion that the alliance might not exist in its original form due to internal wrangling.
The Chairman Senate obviously followed the required procedure and notified Gilani as leader of the opposition on the basis of evidence the PPP submitted in respect of support of the majority of the opposition members to its candidate but it was surely a shell shock for PML(N).
There is general impression that the PPP played smart in the entire game of Senate elections as it succeeded in getting its candidate elected against Islamabad seat with far less members in the National Assembly than PML(N); stacked a claim to nominate Gilani for election of the Office of Chairman and on failure, reneged on its previous commitment made with PML(N) to support its candidate for leader of the opposition.
It is a fact that PPP has more Senators than other opposition parties but PML(N) is banking on the understanding reached during PDM’s deliberations on different aspects of the Senate elections.
The differences within PDM have further been sharpened by siding of ANP with PPP in violation of the decisions of the alliance but more important is the decision of JUI(F) to stay neutral during tug of war between PPP and PML(N) on the issue of nomination of leader of the opposition.
The dramatic support that the PPP nominee has received from members of BAP has also deepened the widely-held perception that the PPP has entered into a secret deal with powers that be.
The new alignment is also indicative of the direction that our politics might head towards in coming months, especially close to the next general election.