“Who will be the replacement of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif after his elevation to the office of Prime Minister?” is a question being posed by everyone in the political circles after disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced Shahbaz Sharif as his replacement in the centre after his disqualification as MNA from NA-120. Shahbaz Sharif is set to contest by-polls from this constituency to get elected as MNA and take charge as next prime minister of Pakistan.
Sources in the PMLN said the party has not taken a formal decision till date regarding the chief minister ship of Punjab and all rumours to this effect are nothing more than hearsay. However, they names of provincial minister for Excise and Taxation Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman and provincial minister for Law Rana Sana Ullah are being considered by the party leadership. There are few other names including Mansha Ullah Butt and Malik Nadeem Kamran that are under for the prestigious slot of chief executive of Punjab.
The sources further said that Mujtaba could only be the choice of party leadership for a stop gap arrangement in case the party decides in favour of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as permanent Chief Minister Punjab. They agreed with the fact that he was acting as a deputy chief minister even in the presence of his father.
According to the party sources, Hamza Shahbaz is a strong candidate for the office of Chief Minister Punjab because his presence would keep the party intact and apprehensions of grouping within the party ranks would be minimized.
When asked the possibility of Rana Sana Ullah as next Chief Minister Punjab, the PML-N sources said the party leadership would not agree to field as a temporary chief executive of the province. He can only be a candidate in case the party leadership decides to keep Hamza away from the office and appoint a full time chief minister out of family.
However, the sources have ruled out possibility of Rana Sana Ullah as next chief minister, saying that the Model Town controversy would be after him in case he is placed on this seat.
Allama Tahir-ur-Qadri has already announced to launch a movement against the Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif over the killings of his party workers in Model Town. The PMLN cannot afford to appoint Rana Sana Ullah in the province and let the opposition to take the opportunity of holding protests, rallies and protests against the centre and Punjab throughout the last 10 months of the incumbent government.