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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Yousaf Raza Gillani steps down as Opposition leader

During the Senate session today, Gillani responded to the criticism. He also said "some turncoats"  accused him of siding with the government over the SBP bill. Therefore, he had decided to step down. 

PPP leader and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani announced his resignation as the Opposition Leader in the Senate. His resignation comes after the Senate approved the SBP Amendment Bill 2021 with a single vote.

To clarify, Gillani did not attend the Senate session for the SBP bill, leading to a victory for the government. Despite having a clear majority in the 100-member Senate, the opposition failed to prevent the passage of the controversial SBP bill. At least eight opposition senators, including Gillani, skipped the session.

As a result, Yusuf Raza Gillani came under fire from the opposition lawmakers. During the Senate session today, Gillani responded to the criticism. He also said “some turncoats”  accused him of siding with the government over the SBP bill. Therefore, he had decided to step down.

“I am not astonished by the harsh words from my opponents. But I am astonished by the silence of my well-wishers,” he said.

“I have submitted my resignation to my party. I do not want to be the Opposition leader anymore,” Gillani said while addressing on the floor of the Senate. However, it is unclear whether PPP will accept the resignation or not.

Read more: Yousuf Raza Gillani to be elected as Chairman Senate?

Gillani also noted that it was not appropriate to add the bill to the agenda late at night. Gillani said his staff received the agenda of the January 28 Senate session at 11:30pm on January 27. Meanwhile, he obtained it almost two hours later at 1am.

Yousaf Gillani is an honorable man: Fawad Chaudhry

Reacting to Gilani’s resignation, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the PPP leader was an “honourable” man.

He said that it made more sense for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari or co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to resign as the party’s senators were absent on their directives.

“The senior leaders of the PML-N and PPP are embarrassed and upset at the behaviour of their leadership,” he said. Fawad Chaudhry also appreciated the change in the opposition parties.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry suggests new names for PPP & PML-N