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Gillani says Bilawal decided to take BAP’s support for Opposition leader in Senate office

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File photo

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto had decided to seek Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) support in helping me secure the office, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani has revealed. 

In an interview during Dawn News programme “Live with Adil Shahzeb” on Monday, Gillani said a four-member delegation headed by BAP’s Dilawar met Bilawal, adding that he was not present during the meeting.

The former prime minister revealed he had no interest in the office, however, party chairman Bilawal took the decision.

Responding to the interview, Gillani’s son Ali Qasim Gilani said in the interview Gillani did not admit seeking BAP’s support, he said what Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had stated some time ago.

Gillani’s declaration as Opposition leader in the Senate has caused a divide in the anti-government alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The PML-N claims its party member should have assumed the office, while PPP argues it had the numbers to its favour in the Senate, and so, its party candidate had the right to the position.

After Gillani getting elected, the PDM issued show-cause notices to ANP and PPP for going against the alliance’s decision — as they had decided PPP would get Senate chairman’s slot, JUI-F deputy chairman, and PML-N Opposition leader in the Senate.

PPP was asked to explain within a week, its move to get appointed its candidate, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, as Leader of Opposition in Senate, without first obtaining the consent of parties of the Opposition alliance.

ANP, on the other hand, was issued a notice for supporting the PPP in its efforts to get Gillani designated by roping in senators from the government’s ally BAP to complete the numbers required.

The numbers comprised 21 senators from the PPP itself, 2 senators from the Awami National Party, 1 senator of the Jamaat-i-Islami, 2 independents from FATA and a group of 4 ‘independents’ led by Senator Dilawar Khan that had broken away from BAP to support Gillani’s candidature.

Following the show-cause notice, leaders of the ANP withdrew from the PDM.

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