Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi no longer retains the seat of the provincial chief executive constitutionally.
The crisis in Punjab is deepening as the ruling coalition in the Centre has decided to de-notify Elahi as the chief minister.
Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman had summoned a session yesterday at 4pm for a vote of confidence pertaining to Elahi as the CM.
But defying the directives, the speaker — a PTI member — had termed the order against the constitution and adjourned an ongoing session till Friday.
Earlier, Sanaullah threatened that the Punjab governor would issue a declaration at 4pm to remove the chief minister from office, but it did not materialise.
“Constitutionally, Parvez Elahi is no more the Punjab CM. He didn’t seek a vote of confidence yesterday,” the interior minister said.
He said that the government has made all arrangements to deal with any situation if violence or vandalism unfolds today.
Sanaullah ruled out the existence of “any political crisis”.
“There is no political crisis. An assembly session will be called for the election of the new chief minister,” said Sanaullah — who is also the PML-N’s provincial chief. He added that as soon as the governor will pass orders, they will be implemented.
“The governor has the constitutional right to de-notify the chief minister. When the governor acts as per the Constitution, there is no question of Article 6,” said the minister.
On PTI’s claim that the president will remove Baligh Ur Rehman, the interior minister said that the president has to follow the orders of the prime minister.
“Removing a governor is far-fetched, the president cannot even remove the bee sitting on his head without taking the prime minister’s advice,” said Sanaullah. He added that if the PTI was serious about dissolving the assemblies, they could have gotten the signatures done on December 17 and implemented that.
On the notification of Elahi’s removal, Sanaullah said, in his opinion, the governor’s orders should be issued today. He added that the governor will have to issue a schedule for the new CM’s election.
On a question about the PML-N’s candidate for the new chief minister, the interior minister said that Hamza Shahbaz is the party’s parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly and he should be their candidate. However, he added that the PML-N has not considered anyone for the new chief minister.