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LAHORE: Another former provincial minister of the PML-N — Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Mayo —on Sunday announced quitting the party and took on the Sharif brothers.

At a press conference here, Mayo said he had a 28-year-long association with the Sharifs but today a three-time prime minister (Nawaz) was trying to weaken the country by conspiring against the institutions which, he said, was not acceptable.

“I spoke against the controlled democracy. This country is not a fiefdom of the Sharifs,” he said, adding he could not support a leader who made friends with Indian prime Narendra Modi whom he called ‘butcher of (Indian) Gujrat’.

He said he wanted to leave the party after the Model Town incident in which 14 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek were killed and also after hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

Mr Mayo said he would take his biradri (clan) in Lahore on board and run a campaign against Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz in their constituencies. He also accused the PML-N leadership of giving party tickets to the land mafia of Raiwind.

Mr Mayo regretted the Sharif brothers welcomed those in their party who had remained close to retired Gen Musharraf. He deplored the fact that the ministries were given to Musharraf’s loyalists like Danial Aziz and Talal Chaudhry.

A few days ago former provincial minister and spokesman for Punjab government, Zaeem Hussain Qadri, had parted ways with the Sharifs, accusing them of giving no respect to the loyal party workers.

Qadri is contesting from NA-133, Lahore, as an independent candidate after the PML-N denied him ticket.

Mayo called on Qadri before holding a press conference against the Sharifs.

Meanwhile, a hopeful from National Assembly constituency NA-130 (Lahore-VIII) has also raised his voice against, what he says, violation of merit in grant of PML-N ticket in the constituency.

A candidate for the party ticket, Chaudhry Sarwar, who claims enjoying support of the Tanoli community in the city, alleged the party granted ticket for NA-130 to former mayor Khwaja Ahmed Hassaan against merit.

He claimed that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif had promised to grant him ticket in 2018 polls provided he withdrew his papers in the 2013 polls for NA-126.

Despite meeting the condition, he said “the promise is being dishonored and ironically, for a person (Mr Hassaan) who had lost in the 2013 general election”.

He said that he would announce his future line of action after consulting with the voters of the constituency in a couple of days.

DEMOS: PML-N workers groups held demonstrations against former provincial minister Bilal Yasin and former PML-N MPA Tauseef Ahmed in their constituencies.

They demanded the leadership should not award them party tickets as they did not work in their constituencies.

The protesters said they would campaign against the two candidates if the leadership awarded them tickets.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2018