MUZAFFARGARH: A formal forward bloc in the opposition PML-N in the Punjab Assembly is in the offing if claims by its MPA Azhar Abbas Chandia are to be believed.
The first-time MPA from Muzaffargarh was among the six PML-N MPAs who met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar this week and expressed their confidence in the leadership of the chief minister and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Though Mr Chandia said he did not join the PTI and he was still with the PML-N, he, however, added his talks were going on with several PML-N members who wanted to join the PTI (or the forward bloc). He said it was his second meeting with the chief minister. In September 2019, he along with several PML-N MPAs met the chief minister and the prime minister.
MPA’s son Sardar Naeem Khan Chandia said his father met the chief minister in the best interest of the area. He said Mr Chanida would give suggestions to the government to establish south Punjab secretariat in Multan, otherwise Lahore was more suitable to the region. He said their municipality funds, worth Rs30m, had already been seized by the government and they met the CM for their release too.
Dawn has learnt that after delimitation of constituencies for the forthcoming local government elections, the Punjab government released funds for muncipal committees. On the special request by PML-N MPAs from Muzaffargarh Qasim Hinjar and Mr Chandia, funds were also approved for Muzaffargarh, Daira Din Pannah, Chowk Sarwar Shaheed and Rangpur municipalities.
Later, PTI MPAs from Kot Addu protested and asked the deputy commissioner to stop the funds of their opponent but the DC asked them to contact the chief minister because he was helpless and these funds had been approved by higher authorities. Later, when tenders were issued last month, the administration stopped funds for municipalities.
Mr Chandia said soon funds would be released for his constituency and the Muzafffargarh municipality. Local political circles say funds will lure many PML-N members into the ruling circle.
Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2020