Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahbaz Sharif won the coveted slot of chief minister Punjab for a third
time with 300 votes and more than two-third majority. His opponent, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Mian Mahmoodur Rashid secured only 34 votes.
Interestingly, Mian Shahbaz Sharif broke his own record of 265 votes that he got in 2008 by securing 300 votes this time in Punjab Assembly for the slot of Chief Minister. This is the third time he has won this post, the first being from 1997 to 1999 and the second from 2008 to 2013. The results were announced by Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mohammad Iqbal.
The rule of division was used to ascertain the candidate enjoying the support of majority of the members. Moreover, separate lobbies had been earmarked for both candidates and members were asked to go for either of the two to ascertain the number of supporters each candidate enjoyed.
The PML-N secured a two-thirds majority in the assembly by bagging 305 seats in the May 11 general election and its nominee Iqbal secured 297 votes in the contest for the speaker’s office. The PTI and the PML-Q jointly have 35 members in the house. As the younger brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz was thought to be an important driving force behind party affairs and in 2013, he was thought to have “taken over the party completely” according to some PML-N sources.
The chief minister-elect said the load shedding has destroyed the agricultural as well as industrial sectors. He said he will never hurt the confidence of the people and work hard to for the progress and prosperity of the masses.
He said this has also affected our exports and foreign exchange reserves have dwindled to 5 to 6 billion dollars‚ which is an alarming situation. Therefore‚ all the resources will have to be utilized to end the menace on war footing. Shahbaz Sharif assured that his government will explore all possible sources including coal to generate electricity and will also complete the pending power projects including Nandipur and Chichu Ki Malyan on priority basis. He assured the people that the Punjab government will generate 450 megawatt electricity to lessen the present energy crisis.
He said the Punjab government would also generate electricity by utilizing coal and in this regard an Australian company had finalized a feasibility report for generation of electricity on coal near Jehlam. He said his government will give solar powered tube wells to the small farmers to increase the agricultural yield. He said shortage of electricity is a national issue and he would like to bring the leader of the opposition in Punjab Assembly on the same page to end this menace. He said the total ratio of small farmers having twelve and a half acre land was about 80 per cent and the Punjab government would allocate colossal amount to give them subsidies.
Shahbaz Sharif said his government would end the “Thana and Patwari” culture in Punjab by 2014. He said during his previous tenure he initiated Land Records Management and Information Systems to computerize the lands in Punjab. He said earlier his government faced a lot of hurdles to materialize this project in three different districts of the province since Patwari culture in Pakistan was as strong as Thana culture but our efforts were appreciated by the World Bank and now the World Bank would give financial support to complete Land Records Management and Information Systems in all 36 districts of Punjab.
He said new educational institutes will be established to promote quality education in the province. He said providing education to every child is the mission of his government. He said his government has made a plan to convert the all unproductive lands of the government into schools, colleges and universities so that children of the poor strata should also get quality education at par with children of the elite class in Punjab. He thanked the members for reposing confidence in him and said he will take the House as well as the opposition along on all matters of national importance. Shahbaz Sharif would take the oath of his office at the Governor House where newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would also attend the ceremony.