Senate elections: Who defected?

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SHafaqna Pakistan: As the parliamentary opposition is in a state of mourning after the surprise defeat in no-confidence motion against chairman Senate, it has faced this embarrassment not only due to the senators who were suspected of defection.

To the rude shock of many, several opposition senators who voted for Sadiq Sanjrani are still not on radar at a time when the opposition is busy in looking for black sheep in its rank and file.

The News has learnt on good authority that PPP topped in defection followed by PML-N and another allied party. As many as seven PPP senators voted for Sanjrani. Included among them are two notables known for good connections at the right place. A senior PPP leader was also in contact with powerful officials and has rescued the government hoping the favor will be reciprocated. There is no prize on guessing that all PPP senators who formed part of “save Sanjrani” operation were elected from Sindh. Two of them are prominent individuals. An investigation into how Salim Mandviwala survived the no-confidence motion will resolve some riddles.

As far as PML-N is concerned, five of its senators voted against the party line. Included among them were three females; one was from Lahore. A PML-N senator from Rawalpindi Division was also among the defectors. Sources privy to the situation say that a senior PML-N leader had a telephonic exchanges with an influential individual a couple of days ago. Whether defections in party ranks occurred with his consent remains unconfirmed.

The government was not optimistic about the victory of Sanjrani until two days ago and then things started changing. The parliamentary opposition was as much confident and laughed off speculations that work on defection was on progress and positively. “Your goose is cooked,” a treasury senator told Senator Musadiq Malik of PML-N on Thursday. I was out-rightly dismissive. Then the unthinkable happened; Musadiq said the opposition must resign in protest on this.

Things started changing from Wednesday onwards and became consequential Thursday morning when a very influential senator from the opposition contacted a few senators considered close to the leadership and informed them about the meeting of a tycoon with a leader in detention that occurred between 12:30am to 1:45pm and the message that was passed on. Caught in disbelief, the senators reconfirmed about the meeting. However, there was no message passed on about who to vote. It was later conveyed through another and equally important party leader to the senators who the leader trusted. And that support turned the table.

The News