CHINIOT: A majority of councillors of Chiniot municipal corporation have revolted against local PML-N leadership for nominating a businessman, who got elected to a seat reserved for labour, for the chairman slot.
According to insiders, the party’s choice for the top MC position, Fahad Naeem Fakhri, has annoyed many councillors who were either themselves aspiring for the slot or at least wanted a directly elected member’s nomination.
The PML-N dissidents are being led by Sheikh Qaisar Mehmood, a leader of Overseas PML-N against the party’s local leadership for ignoring directly elected members while making the nomination for MC chairman slot.
Dissidents ‘outnumber’ party loyalists
The MC house comprises 55 councillors, including labour, women, youth and minorities members.
Following the nomination of Mr Naeem, the “Maulvi group”, lead by PML-N MPA Maulana Ilyas Chinioti and MNA Qaisar Ahmad Sheikh, has been left with 20 councillors, sources say.
Mr Naeem is Maulvi group’s candidate for chairman, while Malik Zahoor is contesting for vice-chairman office.
On the other hand, Sheikh Qaisar Mehmood claims to have support of 40 councillors.
As many as six candidates have submitted nomination papers for chairman and vice chairman slots.
Chairman slot candidates are; Fahad Naeem Fakhri, Shahbaz Thakadar, Shahbaz Sheikh, M Asghar Jatt, Mehr Khalid and Qaisar Abbas, while those vying for vice chairman slot are; Malik Zahoor, Tariq Dahr, Shahbaz Khan, Maqbool Insar, Haji Zahid and Iftekhar Fakhri.
Fahad Naeem Fakhri is son of former MC chairman Naeem Fakhri.
Sheikh Qaisar Mahmood group had fielded Shahbaz Sheikh for chairman slot and Shahbaz Khan for vice chairman. But, later the group forged an alliance with another group and the both decided to field Mehr Khalid for chairman and Haji Zahid for vice chairman’s office.
Sources say the PML-N leadership is trying to reconcile both groups to clinch the Chiniot’s top MC slots unopposed like it has done in the remaining three MCs and district council.
PML-N’s Mumtaz Ahmad Lali has been elected chairman of Lalian MC unopposed while Abdul Rehman has been elected vice-chairman. Similarly, Arshid Mehmood Chaudhry won chairman slot and Chaudhry Tanveer vice chairman slot of Bhowana MC while Hussain Abbas clinched chairman office and Sardar Kanwal Abbas vice chairman position unopposed in Chenab Nagar Town Committee.
Ruling party’s Saqlain Sajjanka has been elected Chiniot district council chairman with Zulfiqar Haider as vice chairman, unopposed.
Published in Dawn December 22nd, 2016