LAHORE - The dramatic turn of events in the last few days have not only changed the entire political landscape but also caused fissures in the PML-N and the PML-Q, who seem to have been affected the most in the battle of narratives.

The PTI which has now regained its lost control over Punjab seems to have won this battle by creating a strong perception of it being the only party which can steer the country out of the current quagmire of problems.

Strangely, the immediate casualty of the PTI’s victory has been no one else but its allied party- the PML-Q. It stands divided for the first time in its 20 years history even though still relevant in politics as it has been before. The party faction led by Ch Parvez Elahi, and son Moonis Elahi seems to have prevailed over the one led by Ch Shujat Hussain. So much so, the party leadership has slept away from the hands of Ch Shujat who had been an undisputed leader of the party since its inception in 2002.

In the past few years, Ch Shujat has been playing the role of a figurehead leaving much space to his cousin Ch Parvez Elahi to deal with the day-to-day affairs. This gave his cousin the leverage to get down to the nitty-gritty of political affairs with a key role in the decision-making process.

The first sign of division in the PML-Q came to limelight over the issue of supporting either the PTI or the PDM alliance in the wake of a no-trust motion moved against the then Prime Minister Imran Khan. While Ch Parvez Elahi chose to align with the PTI chief, Ch Shujat decided to side with the PML-N led alliance mainly because of the persuasion by the PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari.

The Sunday’s runoff election for Punjab Chief Minister held on the orders of the Supreme Court seems to have totally isolated the two cousins and their families. Apparently, Ch Shujat’s letter advising members of the parliamentary party not to vote for Ch Parvez Elahi has left little room for reconciliation. And the subsequent decision of the PML-Q’s parliamentary party not to pay any heed to the party head’s advice is a clear indication that Ch Parvez Elahi would now be leading the party. To add insult to injury, the Supreme Court’s verdict has left Ch Shujat toothless in the face of opposition from within the party.

In the given situation, Ch Shujat and his son Salik Hussain are strangers in their own party which seems to have disowned them for all practical purposes. Even his real brothers, Ch Wajahat Hussain and Shafaat Hussain are not standing with him. Ch Wajahat and his son Hussain Elahi have openly aligned themselves with Ch Parvez Elahi and Moonis Elahi.

At fag end of his political career, Ch Shujat must be worried more about the political future of his sons, Shafay Hussain and Salik Hussain who are at odds with their cousins.

Any reconciliation with the cousins cannot be ruled out though, but in the present situation, Ch Shujat has no other option but to find refuge in the PDM camp. In Gujrat, Ch Shujat may also find allies in the form of late Ch Ahmad Mukhtar’s family and that of late Mushtaq Pagganwala. Although the two families which have had their affiliation with the PPP have been traditional political rivals of Chaudhry’s of Gujrat, the situation has changed after the demise of their heads-Ch Ahmad Mukhtar and Mushtaq Pagganwala. Only time will tell what the future has in store for Ch Shujat and his sons.