PML-Q set to become minority party in Senate as well


The Chaudhrys are likely to face the same situation in the Senate that they faced in the Punjab Assembly where a newly-founded dissident bloc of five senators – after being allocated seats on the opposition benches on Friday by the Senate chairman – are set to convert the PML-Q parliamentary party into a minority party with the help of the PML-Q Likeminded.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali announced that the controversy regarding the slot of the opposition leader in the Upper House had been resolved and the notification for PML-N’s Senator Ishaq Dar as opposition leader would be issued in a day or two.
The dissident bloc of five senators including Tariq Azim, Javed Ali Shah, Jamal Leghari, Gulshan Saeed and Naeem Chattha, was allocated separate seats on the opposition benches by Senate Chairman Farooq Naik.
The “rebel senators” had applied for the allocation of separate seats on the opposition benches due to their differences with the PML-Q leadership on joining the PPP-led coalition government.
This independent bloc along with the PML-Q Likeminded and the Jamaat-e-Islami is supporting Dar as the opposition leader.
The PML-Q Likeminded, has also announced that it would sit on the opposition benches in both houses.
When contacted, Senator Tariq Azim, who leads the independent bloc of the PML-Q senators, confirmed that the Senate’s Secretariat had allocated separate seats to his group on the opposition benches.
“Our group enjoys the support of five senators… two other senators are likely to join us soon… The PML-Q Likeminded’s four senators will also sit on opposition benches,” he said.