However, sources in the PML-N downplayed defection of Raja Mohammad Asad and Raja Mohammad Safdar, saying that the family was not having smooth sailing in the party for couple of years, as they were under a cloud due to the growing complaints from the party workers in Jhelum.
Both the MNAs along with their father Raja Mohammad Afzal, a former parliamentarian, changed their loyalty and joined the Pakistan People's Party after meeting party's co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi.
Sources informed The Nation that both the MNAs were not in the good book of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for some time due to their alleged involvement in the murky deals and land grabbing matters. The chief minister admonished them on few occasions when he received complaints against them.
Sources said that decades old association finally broke over the party nomination for a Punjab Assembly seat,PP-26 Jhelum-III,got vacant when the PML-N MPA Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim Hussain was disqualified for holding dual nationality.
The party wanted to accommodate the family of disqualified MPA by awarding party ticket to his father Chaudhry Khadim Hussain but Raja Mohammad Afzal also sought party nomination for the same seat.
Party chief Mian Nawaz Sharif settled the dispute by refraining nomination for both aspirants and declared whosoever wins the election would be taken into the party fold.
Khadim Hussain defeated Raja Mohammad Afzal by some 15,000 votes and was inducted into the party, souring Raja Mohammad Afzal.
The Raja family felt betrayed as people close to Raja Mohammad Afzal said that Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif himself was instrumental in his defeat and he instructed party workers to supportRaja’s opponent, against the party decision to remain neutral.
The family faced another blow when they were conveyed by the party high command that in next general elections one of his son would not going to get the party nomination for National Assembly seat, as the party had promised nomination to a veteran from the area Nawabzada Medhi.
Consequently, Raja Mohammad Afzal along with his two sons decided to part ways with the party and after having string of meetings with PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah and Faryal Talpur decided to join the PPP. Sources in the PPP said that it becomes extremely difficult for the party’s Jhelum chapter, led by Advisor to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, to accommodate everyone in this situation when both the MNA brothers are promised party tickets for upcoming general elections.