LAHORE - Renouncing the ruling PML-N for denying them development funds for their constituencies, five independent members of the Punjab Assembly have demanded separate seats in the provincial assembly, reports suggest.
The independent members in the Punjab Assembly include Abdul Razzak Khan, PP-128 Khanewal, Ali Sulman, PP-168, Sheikhpura, Ehsan Riaz Fatiyana, PP-58 Faisalabad, Najeebullah Khan Niazi, PP-48, Bhakkar and Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dreshek, PP-249, Rajanpur.
Certain media reports, however, aired four independents, excepting Niazi, terminating their support for the PML-N on the grievance that despite promise they were not given the development funds. They said they had voted the PML-N candidate for the slot of chief minister and the speaker and later on pledged to support the party whenever need would arise. But they did not give the due in return, they said. On being disgruntled by the cold attitude of the PML-N they moved the Speaker Punjab Assembly to seek separate seats for themselves in the House.
The PML-N spokesman on the other hand has clarified that these independents have never been part of the party nor they were formally invited to join the same. The spokesman has termed the report aired by some TV channels as not reflecting the facts. The sources in the Punjab Assembly have also denied to have received any application from the independents for allocation of separate seats.
When contacted, Abdul Razzaq Khan said during the last session of the Assembly they had urged the speaker to allocate them separate seats as they were neither part of the Opposition nor of the government as such stayed in between. Razzak became a part of the Junejo-led PML after party-less election of 1985 and later joined the PPP in 1988 where he stayed till 1993 and later on contested election as independent candidate.
Razzaq, who has second time retuned to the PA, denied any funds issue but said they only wanted to get a definite position instead of falling between the two sides. Razzaq the brother of PML-N MPA Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz said he had voted the N-League candidates in the Assembly in the past and next time he would do it again when the party would call him.
Taking a quite other turn, Ali Sulman, son of a former bureaucrat and advocate by profession, said their group of five independent members had totally been ignored by the PML-N notwithstanding the fact they had voted for this party on all occasions.
He said they were denied development funds which was their right hence they were unable to meet needs of the constituency. Sulman, who first time reached the Assembly, said the group had moved the application to the Assembly Secretariat for separate seats in December last and they expect the same to be accepted by the speaker.