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Gillani slams PML-N, says it does ‘not want to resign from assemblies’

Opposition Leader in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gillani addressing a press conference, on February 13, 2021. — YouTube screengrab

ISLAMABAD: PML-N “does not want to resign” from the assemblies and is “blaming PPP for the setbacks” faced by the Opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement alliance, Opposition Leader in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gillani said Wednesday.

“Even if PPP decides in its meeting to resign from the assemblies, PML-N will not do it,” the former prime minister, addressing the media,  said.

He said the decision to resign from the assemblies would be taken in the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting. 

The meeting has been convened by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on April 11 (Sunday).

On Monday, the PPP leader had said it was Bilawal’s decision to seek Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) support in helping him secure the office.

Gillani, speaking during Dawn News programme ‘Live with Adil Shahzeb’, 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 of having him appointed to it.

Gillani’s declaration as Opposition leader in the Senate has caused a divide in the PDM.

The PML-N says one of its own should have assumed the role as was “pre-decided” at the time of the Senate chairman election, while PPP argues it had the numbers to its favour in the Senate, and so, its party candidate had a right to the position.

Things reached a point yesterday where ANP went as far as to withdraw from the alliance after show-cause notices were issued to it, as well as PPP, demanding an explanation for their move to get Gillani elected without PDM’s blessing.

PPP was asked to explain within a week, why it did not first obtain 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 elected by roping in senators from the government’s ally Balochistan Awami Party (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.

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