You hate them or like them, the fact is that the Chaudhry family of Gujrat has been a permanent fixture in national politics for over four decades. They have been kingmakers and kings themselves as well from time to time, thanks to their skills of making and breaking political alliances. Now it seems the family power has seen its shelf life as a kingmaker as it is facing disintegration only to remain politically relevant in the current political scenario. Political difference among the family – Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Chaudhry Shafaat Hussain – have become visible.The sons of Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, who has bee regarded as the family head till now, have decided to go to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz camp, whereas Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, have decided to stand by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. Drawing the political lines clearer, MNA Hassain Elahi, the son of Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, has also announced quitting the family party – the PML-Q – and joining the Moonis Elahi camp for his future politics. Despite all the clear lines, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has denied differences among the family members, saying that his word is the last word in family affairs, including politics. But actions speak louder than words, and actions by the divided house show that the family’s unity is over. It has yet to be seen if the family fight will affect their vote bank in their hometown, Gujrat, in the coming elections or not.
Despite having fewer seats in the National Assembly, both groups are being pampered by both the PML-N and the PTI due to close numbers in the National Assembly. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday visited Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to muster his support for the upcoming by-elections on 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly. Both sides discussed the prospects of contesting the next general elections together. This could be bad news for the PML-N cadres in Gujrat. On the other hand, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi faces stiff opposition, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Hamza Shehbaz, in Lahore. He is facing a no-confidence motion, moved by the Punjab Assembly members from the PML-N. Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has also launched a full-fledged attack on Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and wants to oust him from power through court and no-confidence motion. Political differences are part of democracy, and there should be no unusual thing out of this normal process. Every person’s political choice should be respected. Long story short, as far as the Chaudhry family keeps their political differences within decent lines, there should be no news out of this process.