SARGODHA: As the PML-Q is on a drive to improve its presence in different districts of Punjab ahead of next election, whether local or general, its central leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi visited the town on Thursday to address a `workers convention’ at Qasr-e-Sultan.

The venue belongs to PTI MNA Aamer Sultan Cheema whose son Muneeb Sultan Cheema is a PTI member of the Punjab Assembly. On the arival of PML-Q delegation, PTI flags were removed from the building, also known as Cheema House.

It was said that visit was on the invitation of his niece, ex-MNA Tanzeela Aamer Cheema, wife of Aamer Sultan Cheema and daughter of Ch Tajjamul, a cousin of Pervaiz Elahi.

His visit and removal of PTI flags and banners gave the impression that the Cheema family might prefer to contest local body elections under the banner of PML-Q and Tanzeela would contest either for the mayorship of the Metropolitan Corporation or chairmanship of the Zila Council. She had already headed the district council when Pervaiz Elahi was the chief minister of Punjab.

The PML-Q has already roped in different political groups and individuals in Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Sialkot in recent weeks.

Speaking on the occasion, Elahi said his party had discussed various issues with the PTI and wanted to resolve the public problems but “it doesn’t mean that it is going to quit alliance, which will continue till the next general election.”

He expresses confidence in the sincerity and abilities of Prime Minister Imran Khan for facing problems which he inherited from the previous government. He expresses resolve to stand by the PTI to surmount the challenges.

He said the PML-Q always suggested to the ruling party to take revolutionary steps to cope with inflation and rising prices of essential commodities, particularly food items.

He said they (his party leaders) had supported the PTI for bringing about changes to the system and wanted to improve the living conditions of the poor.

The Punjab Assembly speaker claimed the PML-Q was popular across the province and he had started visiting the districts to prepare the workers for the forthcoming local government election. He did not rule out the chances of placing joint candidates in the seat adjustment with the PTI, particularly in Sargodha, and hoped that the Sargodha Metropolitan Corporation mayor would be from the PML-Q.

He claimed the PML-Q government had transferred the maximum powers to the local government years back and ensured development work at the local level.

Earlier, talking to the media, Pervaiz Elahi said the PML-Q was sincere with the PTI and wanted see changes in the real sense but some people were twisting the facts and giving the impression that it would topple the PTI government. He assured the journalists that the problems of the media would be solved.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020

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