ISLAMABAD - A dark horse from Balochistan Sadiq Sanjrani has emerged favorite for the slot of Chairman Senate leaving behind the PPP and PML N candidates.
Independent Balochistan senator-elect Sadiq Sanjrani has emerged as a top contender for the post of Senate chairman, with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), PPP, MQM-P and Baloch senators reportedly reaching consensus on his nomination for the March 12 election, according to sources.
Sadiq Sanjrani was nomintaed by the joint panel of PTI and Independent Senators panel from Balochistan.
The PTI had earlier on Friday announced that it would vote for neither the PPP nor the PML-N's nominees during the election for Senate chairman. A day later, however, the PTI announced that it would vote for the panel announced by Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo in connection with the election for the Senate 's top posts.
On Sunday, the party announced its support for Sanjrani, already backed by CM Bizenjo, as its pick for the post. The PTI will also be backing the PPP's nominee for deputy chairman Senate , who will be a part of Bizenjo's panel, as per an agreement with the Balochistan CM.
Sanjrani, an independent senator from Balochistan, is considered close to the PPP leadership and may be backed by the ruling party in Sindh ─ in exchange for his support to the PPP's proposed deputy chairman ─ and by four out of five MQM-P senators, who have also extended their support to the PPP's nominee for deputy chairman, according to well-placed sources.
Although the PPP's pick for deputy chairman has yet to be announced publicly, Saleem Mandviwala is considered to be the front-runner for the position, the source said.
PTI's inclination towards PPP's candidate emerged after a meeting between Balochistan CM Bizenjo and PTI Chairman Imran Khan at the latter's Bani Gala residence on Sunday. Bizenjo was accompanied by a delegation of independent senators-elect from the province.
During the meeting, Khan announced his support for any candidate the PPP puts up for the post of deputy chairman as per an agreement with Bizenjo.