ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani today pleads his innocence before the apex court on a show-cause notice for contempt of court issued to him on January 16. Gilani will be the second prime minister after Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to appear before the Supreme Court.

The heads of the coalition partners, including PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Senior Federal Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar, Fata parliamentary leader Munir Khan Orakzai, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Khyber-Paktunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kosar, cabinet members and senior PPP leaders will also accompany Prime Minister Gilani to the SC.

According to sources, around 40 parliamentarians will also be present at he Supreme Court when the prime minister will appear before the court. Gilani has hired the services of renowned lawyer Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan as his legal counsel in the contempt of court case.

Sources said the prime minister spent a busy day on Wednesday at the PM House and held consultation meetings with different senior leaders. Though no word about these meetings was given officially, the sources said the legal and political minds of the government gathered at the PM House and deliberated on today’s strategy.

Prime Minister Gilani, who never skipped sessions of the National Assembly, avoided to attend the NA proceedings for the last two days and preferred to remain in consultation with party leaders.

At the Presidency, President Asif Ali Zardari also held consultations with senior leaders of the party. INP adds: President Zardari, who is also PPP co-chairman, has barred party workers from any gathering, sloganeering or disturbances in front of the Supreme Court building or in any part of the country on the occasion of the appearance of Prime Minister Gilani in the contempt of court case.

Well-placed sources in the PPP said the instructions of the president have been conveyed at every level of the party. They said the president does not want a repetition of the Nov 28, 1997 situation when Nawaz Sharif was appearing in the Supreme Court as prime minister and PML-N workers indulged in rowdyism and attacked the chamber of the then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah in the Supreme Court.