Ali Amin Gandapur to contest for coveted KP CM seat as independent

Ali Amin Gandapur to contest for coveted KP CM seat as independent

PESHAWAR: Ali Amin Gandapur, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister-in-waiting, has decided against joining the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), as he will be vying for the top provincial post in an independent capacity with PTI members included in the SIC to vote for him, The News reported on Monday.

The PTI-backed independent winners from KP in the recently held general elections have joined the SIC to claim their seats, specifically set aside for women and religious minority members.

Meanwhile, Gandapur — who clinched victory from Dera Ismail Khan — will also be contesting for the post of PTI’s provincial president during ist intra-party elections on March 3, as he submitted his nomination papers with his party.

Ali Asghar, another party member, submitted papers for the provincial general secretary slot of the PTI, The News learnt from sources privy to the party affairs.

However, Aqibullah Khan, who is the younger brother of the PTI senior leader, Asad Qaiser, and has been nominated by the party for the KP Assembly office, will contest for the position as a candidate of the SIC.

It was learnt that the chief minister-designate had shortlisted the names for the KP cabinet after hectic consultations. But a final announcement would be made after approval from the PTI founding chairman Imran Khan.

It was gathered that several names were under consideration by the PTI for the deputy speaker position. The name of the selected candidate is expected to be unveiled today.

The opposition parties, on the other hand, decided not to leave the field open to the PTI and announced to put up candidates for the chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker slots. They would come up with unanimous aspirants for the three offices and an announcement to this effect is expected to be made after a meeting of the opposition parties.

When approached, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) provincial spokesman, Abdul Jalil Jan, said neither Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nor Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had contacted his party leadership so far over the election of the chief minister, speaker, and deputy speaker of the KP Assembly.

“The party leadership will have a meeting on Tuesday to chalk out a strategy for the KP Assembly [maiden] session,” said the JUIF spokesman. It is worth mentioning here that KP Governor Ghulam Ali has summoned the provincial assembly session for February 28 at 11 am as recommended by Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Arshad Hussain Shah.

The maiden session of the KP Assembly would see the oath-taking of the members provincial assembly-elect. The house will elect the speaker and deputy speaker to be followed by the election of the leader of the house — the chief minister.

The sources said the opposition parties had decided, in principle, to register protests both inside and outside the KP Assembly during the provincial legislature session.

While talking to The News, he said that Imran Khan, founder chairman of PTI, had instructed him to participate in the party’s elections, so he would also contest the election of provincial president in the intra-party election. He said that in the case of legally joining the Sunni Unity Council; He could not participate in PTI’s intra-party elections.

Therefore, now he will participate in the election for the post of Chief Minister as an independent candidate. He said that all the other candidates participating in the intra-party election had not joined any other party. He said that consultation for the provincial cabinet is ongoing, but the final decision will be taken by Imran Khan.

Gandapur determined to serve people
Gandapur, on Sunday, reiterated his pledge to uphold democratic values and spare no effort to serve the people if he assumes the CM office.

He expressed these views during meetings with the members-elect of the national and provincial assemblies, party workers and people from different walks of life, including scholars and lawyers, at the Speaker’s House.

Gandapur spoke about improving the province’s law and order situation as well as adding health cards, langar khana, shelter homes and police reforms would be restored. He said that the people would be provided with a uniform education system, while the lack of resources would not be a hurdle in the completion of this great mission.