SITUATION: Polls could exact a heavy toll on divided Chaudhrys – Journal

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THE split between the Chaudhry brothers of Gujrat now appears almost official. However, political pundits believe it may not last long and veteran politicians may still come together after the next general election.

After another attack by Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain against his elder brother and the sons of party chairman Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for allying himself with the Sharifs and Zardaris, PML-Q leaders consider that the division between the Chaudhrys has reached a point of no return. A reunion is not in sight, at least not in the foreseeable future, they insist.

Shujaat’s cousin, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who remains allied with Pakistan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman, Imran Khan, appears to have completed his homework to launch a new party – the Pakistan Muslim League – as he has no couldn’t convince Shujaat, with whom he played a decades-long political round, to let go of his “new love” for the Sharifs.

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“The strength of Chaudhry politics has been their unity. A split will not bode well for them in the upcoming elections in the Gujrat Belt,” a party insider believes.

Mr Elahi is believed to have more political influence in the Gujrat belt compared to Shujaat, and with the support of Wajahat which has its own political clout there, it is likely that the new party could replace the PML-Q of practical way.

Parvez Elahi, who is also the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, still enjoys the support of the 10 PML-Q MPAs in the house. Mr. Zardari, apparently through Mr. Shujaat, had approached party lawmakers to support Hamza Shehbaz, but they refused.

“During his recent visit to Lahore, Zardari called Hamza and discussed ways to ‘contain’ Elahi in Punjab, as he not only compelled the PML-N government to hold its own session of the Punjab Assembly to present and pass the province’s budget for 2022-23, but also pushed the Hamza administration to file lawsuits over the “controversial” election of the chief minister, the governor’s order to reduce the powers of the president, etc.

Hamza’s only hope of keeping his job and managing Elahi is a ‘favourable’ result of partial polls on July 17 of 20 seats in Punjab that fell vacant after the election commission unseated dissident PTI MPs for voting in favor. the PML-N candidate in the election of Prime Minister. The PTI and the Elahi camp of the PML-Q are confident that they will get most of the seats because people would reject the “defectors”.

Differences between the Chaudhrys – Shujaat, Elahi and Wajahat – and their sons began to surface when the ruling coalition, led by PML-N and PPP, approached PML-Q in February with a ‘lucrative package’ , including Chief Minister’s Office, Central and Punjab Ministries and future seat adjustments with PML-N in exchange for withdrawing their support for Imran Khan and helping oust him from the post of Prime Minister through a motion of censure.

While Elahi and Wajahat, and their sons, MPs Moonis Elahi and Hussain Elahi, preferred to maintain their alliance with the PTI, Shujaat’s sons – Salik and Shafay – chose to side with the ruling coalition with two other party deputies. MP Salik Hussain was also inducted into Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet.

There were many discussions in the Elahi camp about the option of joining Imran Khan’s party, but no consensus was reached and it was decided to leave the PML-Q and start a new party, for the speaker and his associates would not. lose their independent identity.

“Consultations for the launch of a new political party, the Pakistan Muslim League led by Mr. Elahi, are almost complete,” said Mian Imran Masood, a senior Elahi camp official. Dawn.

Mr. Masood claimed that most lawmakers and PML-Q board members backed Mr. Elahi’s decision to remain allied with the PTI, which was also endorsed by workers in the Chaudhrys stronghold of Gujrat.

“Efforts to keep the PML-Q united are bearing no fruit as its MPs Tariq Basheer Cheema and Salik Hussain have assured Zardari of their long-term support,” he added.

Elahi’s son Moonis, who is close to Chaudhry Shujaat, is said to have made last-ditch efforts to keep the family together, but they yield no positive results.

Another senior party official said that the Muslim League House in Lahore had already been registered under the name of Parvez Elahi, who also owned it.

On the other hand, Chaudhry Wajahat held Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema responsible for the split within the PML-Q, while his son Hussain Elahi blamed Asif Zardari and PML-N Supreme Leader Nawaz Sharif for the split.

Hussain Elahi told party workers on Saturday that he and his father firmly support Parvez and Moonis Elahi and will not let anyone disturb their unity.

Shujaat’s other younger brother, Shafaat Hussain, a former Nazi from Gujrat district, has already distanced himself from the PML-Q and announced that he will run in the next elections for NA-69 Gujrat – the seat currently held. by his nephew and former federal minister Moonis Elahi.

On the development, Shujaat reacted in a statement on Saturday, saying, “What difference does it make if one more political party is created?”

But the PML-Q chairman, who has never admitted the differences within the family, described the allegations made by his younger brother Wajahat against his sons (Salik and Shafay) as asking PPP leader Asif for dollars. Zardari “baseless and absurd”.

Explaining why he chose to be part of the nine-party coalition government, the veteran politician said: “I honored the commitment (made to Zardari) that’s why my son (Salik) and Cheema party MP voted for Shehbaz Sharif in the election for Prime Minister My son had not sought any ministry in return.

He also tweeted that his sons were silent on all allegations only because he asked them to.

Posted in Dawn, June 26, 2022

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