The woes of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz seem to be increasing with each passing day as it faces more desertions in the central Punjab region.
PML-N MPAs Mazhar Abbas from Multan and Chaudhry Ashraf from Gujranwala along with his brother Chaudhry Afzal left the party and announced their joining the PTI on Tuesday after meeting with Chairman Imran Khan, a party handout said.
PTI chairman Imran Khan warmly welcomed the newcomers in the party, the statement added.
The PML-N rout in the central Punjab region of Gujranwala is more worrying for the ruling party as two sitting MNAs had already joined the PTI.
They were veteran Muslim Leaguer and former federal minister Rana Nazir Ahmed of Kamoke and his sons — Rana Umer Nazir (MNA) and Aamir Nazir, vice chairman of the Gujranwala District Council.
Some two months ago, PML-N MNA Mian Tariq Mahmood had shifted loyalties for being annoyed over the dominance of the Dastgir family in the regional politics of the PML-N.
Once considered close to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Nazir and his son Rana Umer Nazir Khan, MNA from NA-99, had called on PTI Chairman Imran Khan and announced their affiliation with the PTI.
Also, former PPP MPA Zulfiqar Bhinder who was the runner-up as a PPP candidate against Rana Umer Nazir in 2013, had already joined the PTI. It would be a herculean task for the party to balance out rival groups in the region at the time of awarding party tickets.
A few days back estranged PML-N lawmakers who had formed the Junoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz (JPSM) had merged into the PTI and announced they will contest the 2018 general elections under the PTI banner.
JPSM president Khusro Bakhtiar said that the merger was made possible after the PTI included the formation of a new province in south Punjab to their election manifesto. Under the deal, the PTI is to set in motion the procedures to create a new province in south Punjab within 100 days if it forms the next government.