N claims having majority votes to elect its Senate chairman

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The Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Thursday said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had not finalized any name as its candidate for the Chairman Senate so far. He also hailed the PPP leader's stance regarding the smaller province in the country.

The move is said to have exerted pressure on the PML-N which is now considering the possibility of supporting the National Party's (NP) chief Hasil Bizenjo as candidate for upper house's chairman.

The mainstream political parties are eying the independent candidates to get their favourite candidate elected as Senate chairman in scheduled poll on March 12.

PML-N Senator and senior leader Mushahid Ullah Khan claimed on Saturday said, "PML-N candidate will have the backing of 57 Senators".

Responding to questions regarding Wednesday's meeting between the JUI-F leader and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz said Fazlur Rehman was an equally good friend of the PML-N hence the party may earn his support.

The consultation stage between the PML-N and its allies has entered the final phase. A delegation of MQM-P's PIB Colony faction also met Nawaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, PPP leaders also confirmed that they were in contact with senators from Fata for their support for slots of chairman and deputy chairman of Senate. Again on the face of it, the PPP - even if the PTI were to join hands with it - would not be able to muster enough votes to stop the PML-N from achieving its objective.

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"Raza Rabbani assured the chairman PPP to continue to play an active political role in whatever position party leadership assigns him", the PPP said in a press statement issued after this meeting.

"The people of Balochistan have been aware of their deprivations since some time now", the PTI chief said, "and it would be a great feat if the incoming Senate chairman is from Balochistan".

Talking to reporters after a meeting with Mr Bizenjo, Imran Khan said the PTI wanted to see the next Senate chairman from Balochistan.

Zardari's reaction two days back over the PML-N proposal to field outgoing Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani for another term, created anger in a segment within the PPP.

Mr Khan was accompanied by former PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen, MNA Asad Umar and information secretary Fawad Chaudhry.

The participants debated various names for the top slots of the Senate.

"No my lord, we will not let you do this", she said.

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