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MQM opts for Opposition

Govt loses majority in NA; PM maybe asked for fresh vote of confidence
* Now the ball is in PML-N court, say analysts  l Altaf Hussain telephones political leaders
* MQM terms POL price hike back-breaking for masses; says landlords should be taxed

Staff Reporter/ Agencies
KARACHI: A sever blow was dealt to PPP-coalition government on Sunday when Muttahida Qaumi Movement — largest coalition partner — announced to carve itself out of alliance citing several reasons, adding government never gave an ear to MQM’s advices, henceforth Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has lost his mandate in the House as government left with 158 members on its side, while Opposition numbers fattens to 174.
It is likely that today (Monday) Prime Minister may be asked to take a fresh vote of confidence, where political analysts say that it would be a tall task for PM Gilani to prove his majority.
According to the press briefing of MQM leaders, the decision to sit in the Opposition was taken by MQM’s Coordination Committee’s meeting held simultaneously in Karachi and London.
Haider Abbas Rizvi informed that media the MQM today  (Monday) would formally submitted request to the Speaker National Assembly and Chairman Senate to allocate Opposition benches to MQM.
Talking to the media, MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari said the meeting of MQM’s Coordination Committee, taking serious exception, among other things, to the massive hike in prices of petroleum products by the government at the outset of new-year, finally decided to move from government to opposition benches.
Sabzwari regretted that despite repeated calls made by his party, the government failed to take any practical steps towards redressal of MQM’s grievances. “This forced Muttahida Qaumi Movement to take the extreme step of sitting on the opposition benches both in the National Assembly and the Senate,” he added.
Faisal Sabzwari said now MQM is weighing all the options including parting ways with government in Sindh government. He said MQM would oppose all the anti-people decisions of the government.
Reiterating MQM’s stance on imposition of taxes, he said the government should tax the income from agriculture and the landlords.
“The government should tax landlords rather than the poor,” he said, added MQM has made the decision with an honest intent. According to the media sources, MQM chief Altaf Hussain made contact with PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Ahmed, JUI-F leader Maulana Ghafoor Haidry and AMPL chief Pir Pagara and deliberated with them the current situation arises out of MQM latest stance. Political pundits now say that the ball is in PML-N court to decide the fate of Gilani-Government, and today will prove their stance in the National Assembly Hall. PML-N holds 91 seats in the lower house, though in the position to shake the government on its own but only after alliance with other opposition factions in the House.


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