Days after PDM’s decision to part ways with PPP and ANP and form a new alliance of five opposition parties having 27 members in Senate, show-cause notices were served to both the political parties by the alliance, signalling a widening split within the opposition parties. “Show-cause notices have been issued after approval from PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman and sent on WhatsApp,” PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told a private TV channel, adding that both the parties have been given seven days to respond. “Whatever answer is received will be presented during a meeting of the opposition alliance’s constituent parties,” he said. “The PDM will decide the future course of action,” he added. Abbasi said that it was written on the notice, reportedly served for not attending the alliance meeting on April 2 and violating its decision, that the opposition alliance will not make it public. However, both the parties can make them public if they wish to do so, he said. Leader of the Opposition in Senate Yousuf Raza Gilani later confirmed that the PPP has received the show-cause notice. Last week, the PDM had decided to part ways with the PPP and ANP, and form a new alliance of five opposition parties comprising PML-N, JUI-F, PkMAP, NP and BNP-Mengal. Also on Monday, opposition parties clashed in the first formal Senate session on Monday as five parties who had earlier decided to constitute an independent group in the Upper House consisting of 27 members, demanded they be allotted separate opposition benches in the Senate. The group is being led by the PML-N designated opposition leader Senator Azam Nazir Tarrar. “We should be allotted separate opposition benches and the hidden cameras [in the Senate elections] should be investigated,” Senator Tarrar said. Senators supporting Opposition Leader Yousaf Raza Gillani protested Tarrar’s remarks. Government members, too, protested when senators from the Balochistan Awami Party were presented with gifts and a commotion broke out in the House. Tarrar said that 27 senators from five parties have formed a separate opposition group. He said the opposition will play a ‘positive and constructive’ role. He said he was saddened by the appointment of the leader of the opposition. Speaking in the House, Opposition Leader in Senate Yousaf Raza Gilani said he will work with all opposition parties and will also speak on behalf of the government if ever need be. He said he contested the Senate elections with the cooperation of PDM and will accompany the opposition in the Senate session. “The PDM has become the voice of constitutional rights for women, minorities and others. We have come for the public interest and it is our duty to represent the people. The country faces many challenges for which we have to work together,” he said, and advised the newly elected members in the Upper House to learn from the experiences of the old senators. Despite differences within the PDM, the opposition’s resolution on coronavirus vaccines was approved in the Senate on Monday, leaving the treasury benches vexed. JUI-F Senator Kamran Murtaza presented a resolution in the Upper House against the selling of coronavirus vaccines at expensive rates. The Senate approved the resolution submitted by the opposition, with 43 in favour and 31 against voting it. In the resolution, the opposition candidate demanded the government provide coronavirus vaccines for free or at a cheaper rate for the public. Angered at the development, Leader of the House Shehzad Waseem said the resolution was a charge-sheet against the government. Senator Faisal Javed, on the other hand, termed the resolution as ‘strange’. “The entire world appreciates Imran Khan’s strategy against coronavirus,” he said, defending the government’s measures to vaccinate the masses. Similarly, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to Prime Minister Sania Nishtar cautioned politicians against mixing the coronavirus with politics, saying that battling the infection is a ‘national security issue’. Meanwhile, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani tabled a constitutional amendment bill, seeking to bring the powers of Senate at par with the National Assembly. “We talk about powers of the upper and lower houses of the parliament,” Rabbani said while speaking at the Senate’s session. “Senate doesn’t have the same powers as the National Assembly. Both houses should have the same powers,” he added. Putting forth his demand, the senator called for an amendment in the Articles 57, 62, 72, 73, 86, 89, 126, 159, 160, 162, 166 of the constitution. He also asked for “allowing the chief minister of the province to speak in the house and barring senators from having their votes moved to another constituency”. Subsequently, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani handed over the bill to the committee concerned. During the session, Sanjrani also assured a forensic investigation of the spycam fiasco.