The absence of three PML-N parliamentarians two MNAs and an MPA from the district, during the Punjab chief minister’s visit to Chiniot on Tuesday, caused embarrassment to the ruling party.
The absence of the ruling party lawmakers from the stage during the chief minister’s address to party workers was all the more shocking for the PML-N because its candidates had won all the national and provincial assemblies seats in the district in 2013 elections.
Shahbaz Sharif, who is also PML-N president, must have felt very lonely on the stage initially where chairs of the MPAs, Maulana Rehmat Ullah, Mehr Imtiaz Lali and Mehr Saqlain Anwer Sipra, besides those of MNAs Mehr Ghulam Muhammad Lali and Qaisar Ahmad Sheikh were vacant.
However, the chief minister got some company later when MPAs Maulana Ilyas Chinioti, Mr. Sipra, and Maulana Rehmat Ullah arrived there after some delay. Municipal Committee chairman Mehr Khalid and Zila Council chairman Saqlain Sajanka were later invited to stage to fill the vacant seats.
The absent lawmakers also stayed away from the chief minister’s visit to the district headquarters hospital. Only MPA Ilyas Chinioti accompanied the chief minister during the visit.
According to sources, the parliamentarians by not attending the events arranged for the CM showed their annoyance over denial of funds by the Punjab government for mega projects in Chiniot like the dual carriageway project and construction of the district complex etc.
The sources said some of these lawmakers were also in contact with the opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, for tickets for the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, the chief minister inaugurated a hepatitis filter clinic, an incinerator, and other projects in the revamped district headquarters hospital here.
He inspected different sections of the facility and showed a keen interest in incinerator project.
Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said incinerator installed at a cost of Rs25 million would help control spread of diseases in the hospital. He also went to hepatitis filter clinic and examined its working.
He also inspected modernisation work and visited the OPD, indoor block, emergency ward and operation theaters of the hospital. He said Chiniot-Faisalabad road project had been planned with an estimated cost of Rs2 billion and it would be complete in six months.