Friday, March 18, 2022
LAHORE: With the government alleging that the Opposition is involved in horse-trading ahead of the no-confidence motion, the ruling party ally — PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — has said that this is the “first” no-trust move in which “no one is buying or selling votes”, adding that such reports were nothing short of a “propaganda.”
In an official statement, the PML-Q leader said that he had been observing it in newspapers and on TV that “bundles of notes” are being distributed ahead of the no-confidence motion. He added that even Prime Minister Imran Khan had mentioned that “bundles of notes” were being distributed in Sindh House.
“This is the first no-confidence motion in which no one is buying or selling votes, this is just propaganda,” said Shujaat.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had claimed a day earlier that the Sindh House in Islamabad, "is currently the centre of horse-trading," while accusing the Opposition of buying the votes of MNAs.
He had alleged that there were "reports of huge sums of money being shifted to the Sindh House," adding that the PPP has deputed police outside it to accommodate people there.
Following the claims, the Sindh House had become the centre of attention, with PTI MNA Raja Riaz, who is residing therein, claiming that 24 lawmakers were staying at the lodge.
The claims made by the minister and Riaz had also pushed PTI workers in Islamabad to stage a sit-in outside the Sindh House.
While the protest started off peacefully at the beginning, it soon took a violent turn as demonstrators broke the gate open and stormed inside the Sindh House. The incident happened despite the presence of a heavy contingent of police outside the lodge.
The PML-Q leader said that the government always tries to stop public gatherings and it was the “first time” that the Opposition and the government were holding rallies on the same issue. The Opposition is insisting on holding public gatherings due to the government’s announcement.
“[I am] appealing once again that the Opposition and the government delay their public gatherings,” said the PML-Q leader. "If someone dies or gets killed, then everyone will regret it," he added.
“Federal ministers say [an MNA] will have to bypass one million people if they wish to cast a vote against Imran Khan. When a voter decides to cast his vote, then a crowd of 1 million or 100 million will not be able to stop him,” said the PML-Q leader.
The Opposition parties moved a no-confidence motion seeking the ouster of PM Imran Khan on March 8, accusing him of "mismanaging the economy and poor governance."
After submitting the no-confidence motion in the NA Secretariat, the Opposition is trying to woo the PTI allies in supporting its no-trust move, while the government has ramped up the efforts of retaining its allies.
Amid all this, the PTI has called for a public gathering on March 27 — a day before the no-confidence motion. Soon after the announcement, the Opposition also announced that it would lead a long march to Islamabad ahead of the no-confidence motion.