Karachi -Although President Asif Zardari is the ultimate authority to pick a name for the slot of chief minister in Sindh, different groups within PPP have been lobbying to get nominated a new face of their choice.
It has been learnt that aspirants for the top slot have been lobbying and throwing receptions in honour of MPAs-elect in order to attract them and get them into their confidence. Nevertheless, insiders claim that a decision has been taken at the highest level in the party to nominate 84-year-old Qaim Ali Shah for the slot of chief minister for a third time.
Besides Qaim, PPP stalwarts former speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and former MNA Mir Hazar Khan are in race for the top slot.
A reception hosted by Qaim in honour of party’s MPAs-elect at Bilawal House on Sunday was a green signal for him from PPP co-chairman Zardari to take elected members into his confidence. Senior party members and lawmakers on the other hand are not happy with this signal since they have not been satisfied with the way the affairs were handled by the outgoing provincial government under Qaim Ali Shah. Therefore, pressure is being mounted to get nominated a new face instead.
By every means, the next five-year term will be an era of competition among different parties with PTI set to rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PML-N in Punjab and PPP in Sindh.
Political analysts are of the view that the last government of PPP in coalition with the MQM and other parties would be remembered as an era of bad governance in Sindh when officers were posted on recommendations of MPAs.
As officers of Sindh government were on the road against PPP government’s step of giving a cover to absorption of officers coming from other departments on deputation.
Also, the name of President Zardari’s foster brother Owais Muzaffar Tappi remained attached almost to majority of encroachments of state land in Karachi. Not only this, Tappi’s name also echoed during hearings on Karachi law and order case in the Supreme Court. All these five years, Owais Tappi and Faryal Talpur continued to be the de-facto chief ministers of the Sindh province.
Meetings of senior PPP members scathingly criticised Tappi’s control over government and party affairs that brought a bad name to the party.
Insiders meanwhile confirmed that President Zardari’s foster brother Tappi wanted to see Qaim Ali Shah back on the top seat for a second time.
The reception hosted in honour of MPAs-elect at Bilawal House by Qaim and Tappi was attended by party’s nominated opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza, Qaim Ali Shah, Agha Siraj Durrani and other leaders.
Talking to the media, Sharjeel Inam Memon said consultation was underway and the party would finalise and make public the name of next leader of house after oath taking session of Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, May 29.
To a question, Memon argued that crime rate in Punjab was higher than any other province. He also said many criminals involved in targeted killings were arrested by PPP government and sent behind bars.
Memon further said doors were opened for other parties to join PPP which according to him was ready to continue its reconciliatory policy.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari, who arrived from Islamabad in Karachi on Saturday evening, held a meeting with senior party leaders including Khursheed Shah, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Qaim Ali Shah and others. Zardari discussed the political scenario and issues relating to forming a new provincial government in Sindh.