Punjab CM hitting it off with opposition MPAs riles many beyond the parties divide

Updated 03 Jul 2020


Punjab CM Usman Buzdar pledges uplift funds for opposition members. — DawnNewsTV/File
Punjab CM Usman Buzdar pledges uplift funds for opposition members. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The move of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government to woo the opposition parties’ MPAs with offers of development funds for their constituencies has not only sparked reaction in the opposition parties but also within the ruling party.

Six MPAs belonging to the PML-N and one from the PPP called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Thursday and apprised him of the problems of their constituencies.

The CM assured the MPAs of resolving the problems of their constituencies.

“The government will fully ensure that genuine issues of the elected representatives are resolved,” he said.

Those who met the CM were: PML-N MPAs Mian Jalil Ahmed Sharaqpuri, Nishat Ahmed Khan Daha, Muhammad Ghiasuddin, Azhar Abbas, Faisal Khan Niazi and Chaudhry Ashraf Ali Ansari and PPP MPA Ghazanfar Ali Khan Langah. The MPAs have met the chief minister for the second time. They had met the CM in March this year.

Buzdar pledges uplift funds for opposition members

Mr Daha says Usman Buzdar is a chief minister of whole province and he does not find any problem in meeting him for the resolution to the problems of his voters.

The PML-N and PPP leadership have criticised their MPAs meeting with CM Buzdar, terming it a violation of the party discipline.

Reacting sharply, PML-N Punjab spokesperson Azma Bokhari said the party had decided to take strict disciplinary action against all the MPAs who met the CM.

Stating that these MPAs had met the CM earlier also and were served with show cause notices, Ms Bokhari said the MPAs had sought apology from the party leadership and assured that they would not meet the CM again.

“The MPAs found violating the party manifesto and directions of the party leadership will not be given party ticket in the next elections,” asserted Ms Bokhari.

PPP parliamentary leader in Punjab Assembly Hassan Murtaza termed his party MPA Ghazanfar Langah a turncoat for meeting CM Buzdar. Stating that Mr Langah had insulted the mandate of the people and confidence of the party leadership, he said the turncoat would be held accountable according to the democratic norms in the Punjab Assembly. He said the party leadership would take action against the delinquent MPA.

Mr Murtaza also chided the CM for making strides to promote ‘lotacracy’ in the Punjab Assembly.

“The Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar government, created on the basis of turncoats, will soon be demolished,” he claimed.

A number of PTI MPAs have also shown their resentment over the CM’s meeting with the opposition MPAs and pledging release of development funds for their constituencies.

The PTI MPAs’ two separate groups have already spoken against the party leadership for denying them development funds.

A disgruntled PTI MPA, while speaking to Dawn, said the party and the government leadership telling the party MPAs that it was short of development funds in the wake of coronavirus and consequent economic slump.

“We, who elected them to form the PTI government, also need funds for small development schemes for people in our constituencies,” another MPA said, on the condition of anonymity.

When contacted, PTI Chief Whip Syed Abbas Ali Shah said the party MPAs as well as parliamentarians from other parties were meeting the CM on a regular basis to resolve the problems of people in their respective constituencies.

He said it was Prime Minister Imran Khan and CM Buzdar’s vision to serve people regardless of political affiliations and cited the example of Ehsaas programme wherein Rs12,000 were distributed among the poor across the board.

Answering a question, Mr Shah said the PTI was not trying to woo the opposition MPAs and this claim was absurd as the government had already got its budget for the current financial year and supplementary budget for the 2019-2020 approved.

About the reservations within the PTI, he claimed there was no disgruntled MPA in the party.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020