QUETTA: A senior leader of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party, Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani, has resigned from the cabinet as a minister and apologised to the people for having been unable to serve them because, according to him, release of funds for his department was stopped by the chief minister.

Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani had withdrawn the portfolio of local bodies and rural development from Mr Bhootani two weeks ago alleging that the department had failed to deliver.

Mr Bhootani announced his resignation at a press conference at his residence here on Friday. “I have submitted my resignation to the governor of Balochistan and he has accepted it,” he said.

Mr Bhootani claimed that more ministers would tender their resignations soon. “We will decide our future line of action after consulting other friends,” he said.

Saleh Bhootani was deprived of his portfolio by CM two weeks ago

He claimed that during the last three years nothing had been done by the provincial government to develop Bal­ochistan. “Development of the province is confined to papers. Not a single uplift pr­o­ject has been completed in the last 42 months,” he said.

As for as performance of the local bodies department was concerned, he said, no funds were released for the department during the last 42 months. When the department didn’t have funds, how could it work or show its performance, he added.

Mr Bhootani alleged that after coming to power, CM Alyani had dropped all development schemes included in the Public Sector Development Programme by Mir Qudoos Bizenjo as the previous chief minister declaring them non-productive. After that no development project was launched through elected representatives of the people.

Mr Bhootani said that his constituency was ignored and was not given any significant development sch­eme and funds in the budget and some other elected representative were also igno­red in development projects.

He said that CM Alyani changed portfolios of many ministers and created new departments by breaking up already existing departments that badly affected performance of various departments.

He claimed that the coming budget would be limited to paper work and nothing would be done to solve basic problems of the people.

“People are deprived of even drinking water and other basic facilities while the government is busy in constructing futsal grounds and playgrounds,” he said and added that people were worried over the provincial government’s failure to pay attention to development of the province.

Mr Bhootani, who was elected eight times to the Balochistan Assembly from his constituency since 1977, said that he had remained caretaker chief minister and minister many times, had served the people of the pro­vince and no one had pointed fingers at his performance.

He said that he had always extended support to Mr Alyani and “even arranged his election campaign meetings against my brother Aslam Bhootani”. How­ever, Mr Aslam won the National Assembly seat from Lasbela-Gwadar. “I think the chief minister is taking revenge for his defeat in the last election,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021

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