Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday claimed that three PTI MNAs had been offered bribes to support the opposition's planned no-confidence motion in the parliament against the government.
The minister, however, neither disclosed the identities of the MNAs who were approached to switch loyalties nor said anything about who the offer was from.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman had announced last week that the opposition alliance had decided to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and would contact the PTI government's allies in the centre for this purpose.
PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also met PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam earlier this month in Lahore and agreed to leave their differences behind for a common cause — sending Prime Minister Imran Khan home — and pledged to weigh all options to achieve the goal, including a no-confidence move and a joint long march.
Talking to media in Islamabad today, Chaudhry said that the trio if PTI legislators, including a minority member and a female lawmaker, had been offered money to favour the no-trust motion, adding that "this is such a shameful instance."
He dared the opposition to table the no-trust motion within 24 hours as he dubbed Zardari and Shehbaz the "two big traders", accusing them of meeting to discuss the "contributions they would make for horse-trading".
He alleged that the PML-N and the PPP were striving to revive the corrupt practice of horse-trading, "however, we are keeping a close eye on that and we will not let that happen."
Chaudhry said the two leaders had submitted certificates to courts claiming they were ill "but they are holding meetings publicly in visibly good health."
"Shehbaz Sharif is out of jail just because his cases are not being heard on a day-to-day basis and chances are getting brighter that his cases will be taken up for hearing on a daily basis," the minister added.
The information minister said the government was preparing for the next elections and more relief packages will be announced for people in weeks to come.
He also insisted that the country and the national economy were heading in the "right direction".