PML-N leader and federal minister Riaz Pirzada on Monday doubled down on a suggestion he made last week: that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif take over the party's reins from his brother, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pirzada, in a press conference, had criticised the PML-N's decision to re-elect Nawaz the party's head, contending that Shahbaz should instead lead the party as he understood the people's issues better. He was of the opinion that Shahbaz's leadership would be in the better interests of the party.
The minister, whose controversial remarks brought to the fore an inner tussle for party leadership between the two brothers, stood by his statement in the face of criticism from Railways Minister Saad Rafique; saying that it was only Nawaz's brother who he (Pirzada) had proposed as party chief.
Pirzada, speaking to DawnNews, revealed that Rafique had told him he should not have made the statement.
"I have not asked Indira Gandhi to take over the party; neither have I asked the 111 Brigade to take over," Pirzada asserted, adding that he had only asked Shahbaz, Nawaz's "obedient brother", to take charge.
"If Shahbaz Sharif commands the 111 Brigade, I apologise for my statement," he said, tongue firmly in cheek.