The PML (Q) is once again in the eye of the storm as its leaders announced elections in the party. These intra-party elections are scheduled to start from July 8 when the provincial general councils will elect the party heads on the provincial level. Most party's senior office-bears are expected to be elected unopposed. As such, little changes are expected in the present party line-up. As the elections are drawing closer, we witness a Pandora's Box opening in the party. A rebel group, which never reconciled with the leadership of the Chaudhrys, is not ready to accept the elections. These dissident leaders have once again challenged their leadership though on very flimsy grounds. On their end, both the Chaudhrys, Shujaat Hussain, being nominated as central President of the party and Pervaiz Elahi as provincial President of the party, have no right to contest elections for the party's top slots for the third time. They are determined not to let the party become a party of family. Humayun Akhtar, one of the leading dissidents, being declared as party general Secretary by the group, made it clear that now the onus of uniting the party was on the Chaudhrys. Either they make compromises or let the party split, he maintained. Chaudhrys' supporters on the other hand too are not in a mood to entertain the concerns of the of rebel group, brushing them aside as sheer blackmail. Kamil Ali Agha who is also supervising the election as Election Commissioner dubbed their calls for change as 'undemocratic and mere pressure tactics'. Given the mood on both sides, it seems that party is heading for a veritable split. The Chaudhrys have not yet spoken on the position taken by the rebel group. However behind-the scene they are making efforts to win over the disgruntled elements in the party which anyway do not constitute a big number to threaten the Chaudhrys' supremacy in the party. So it is to be seen how they manage the brewing crisis this time. Could they hold the party intact as they did before? The Chaudhrys of Gujrat have made huge contribution to the party to keep it alive and kicking in recent times. One area where their services need to be acknowledged is their efforts at keeping the party united. Here Shujaat's role has always been outstanding. No doubt had he not been at helm of affairs, the party would have long been disintegrated into various splinter groups. In this respect he played the role of an elderly politician, giving precedence to collective interests over the personal ones. Whenever trouble besets the party we found Shujaat quite open and forthcoming, going an extra mile to listen to the other side's viewpoint, followed by efforts to accommodate where possible. Interestingly, he always managed to sway and find a way out, leaving the opposition look quite small. Last time when the same group challenged his authority, he went to their place and announced a committee that included all party senior leaders to run the affairs of the party. He even asked the rebel group to propose the names of leaders for top slots acceptable to the party. Despite heavy odds, they showed unflinching commitment towards the party' affairs. Here Ch. Pervaiz Elahi made extra efforts all along, organising the party single-handedly. He travelled from one district to other, holding public meetings there, organising the party at district and levels below it. His doors always remained open for the party leaders, attending to their problems and sorting them out. As such, he was able to create a team even at grassroots level beholden to him, which is not ready to accept PML (Q) leaders anchored in the rebel group. They like to be associated with the political faces like Chaudhrys to lead them and be counted as a member of a real political party. As such their choices are limited As opposed to the Chaudhrys the rebel group has little or no following in the party. The dissidents have never taken part in the party's organization, nor they figure anywhere in the party. Most of them have kept them aloof from the local politics, as they draw their strength from somewhere else. They are neither very well versed with the party organisation of their respective areas. In some cases the President and General Secretary of their respective districts are not ready to align with them. More importantly, the basis on which they are objecting to the Chaudhrys' leadership are most flimsy. All they argued so far was this that the Chaudhrys should not contest elections for the third time. It seemed that they did not have much to say about the Chaudhrys. It is their own personal interests or grudges dictating them to oppose the present party leadership. Now we have learnt that President Musharraf is behind this recent move. One wonders what benefit they would get to become a pawn of somebody most hated in this country. E-mail: