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More than 50% PML-Q Punjab MPAs in contact with Chaudhry Shujaat: sources

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  • Ruling coalition mulling overthrowing Punjab govt.
  • PML-Q lawmakers to support Chaudhry Shujaat's decisions.
  • Imran Khan has expressed fears of Punjab govt's dismissal.
Fifty percent or more of PML-Q lawmakers in Punjab are in contact with the party president Chaudhry Shujaat — a cousin of the province's chief minister, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, who is a strong ally of PTI.

Shujaat and Elahi, who were considered to be extremely close, drifted apart earlier this year when the former decided against supporting the latter for the CM post.

There was also an attempted coup by Elahi and his allies in the party to overthrow Shujaat as the president, however, he moved the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to foil the bid.

Well-informed sources told Daily Jang that although the federal government is busy tackling deadly floods, it is also mulling toppling the Punjab government.

The sources told the publication that most party lawmakers have agreed to back Shujaat's decisions — putting PTI at the risk of losing the Punjab government once again.

In a recent speech at a public rally in Chishtian, Punjab, ex-PM Khan had also claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to topple the Punjab government, adding that "Mr X and Mr Y" were also issuing threats to him.

The fault lines​

The fault lines in the party became visible when Shujaat refused to support Elahi during the Punjab chief minister's election, saying that he would not back PTI Chairperson Imran Khan's candidate — even if it was his cousin.

As a result, Elahi lost the election to PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz by 10 votes as they were rejected following Shujaat's letter to former deputy speaker Dost Mazari.

But Hamza's victory was short-lived as the Supreme Court instated Elahi as the chief minister.

Following these developments, in late June, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the PML-Q decided to remove party president Shujaat from office, citing health issues, as well as Secretary General Tariq Basheer Cheema.

“It has become necessary to isolate Ch Shujaat to save the party from destruction,” said Senator Kamil Ali Agha while talking to the media after the CWC meeting in Lahore.

But later, the PML-Q's Central Executive Committee reposed confidence in the leadership of Shujat and decided to send a show-cause notice to Senator Agha and others for holding an "illegal meeting" in Lahore.

The party’s provincial presidents disassociated themselves from the meeting that removed Shujaat as the president and condemned the illegal dismissal.
 

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