OKARA: Due to bad weather conditions, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz could not arrive in Okara to address the public meeting for which the party has been making preparations for months.

On Sunday midnight, the city received a heavy rain with hail and thunderstorm while light hailstorm was reported in the area on Monday noon too. The arrival of the PML-N leaders and their address was scheduled for Maghrib time. However, CM Hamza Shahbaz’s arrival was cancelled about two hours before the scheduled time while just 15 minutes before Maghrib, the host MNA Chaudhry Riazul Haq Juj appeared on the stage and announced cancellation of the event due to bad weather. After the announcement, the party workers who had gathered at the venue started leaving it.

There are reports in sections of the media and social media that the PML-N show was actually cancelled due to a cold response of the workers to the rally though Okara city received a light rain and hailstorm at noon. There are also reports that the party would decide about rescheduling the rally within the next two days.

It is important to mention that Juj’s elder brother Chaudhry Fayyaz Zafar and PML-N local workers were mobilising the people for the public meeting for May 8 but it was later postponed for May 23rd.

The mobilisation continued during the Ramazan through Iftar parties, corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns to counter Imran Khan’s gatherings across the country. The activities reached their peak in the last two days to make the meeting successful. The Municipal Stadium Football Ground was decorated with flexes, banners and TV screens in and outside the venue, costing millions of rupees.

The PML-N activists present in the ground were chanting slogans in favour of the party leadership.

At the time of filing of this story, MNA Juj and his elder brother Fayyaz Zafar opened the stage for the address of the local leaders of the party.

MNA Chaudhry Nadeem Abbas Rubera with dozens of notables from the constituency was on the highway near Renala Khurd to welcome the convoy of Maryam Nawaz.

RAIN: Heavy thunderstorm, rain and hailstorms on Sunday midnight and Monday noon turned the weather pleasant in the district, which had been bearing temperature at 44 degree Celsius for the last fortnight.

Besides the hot weather conditions, one-hour long loadshedding after every two hours on average was also proving hard for the people to survive.

The rain turned the weather cool, showing positive signs for the maize crop cultivated across the district.

Published in Dawn,May 24th, 2022

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