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Another forward bloc within PML-N!

18 June, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is facing another challenge as a forward bloc is emerging within the party, sources told reporters.

Over 80 ‘disgruntled’ parliamentarians of the PML-N often remain absent from the budget session, the sources said. It was the first time in the parliamentary history that government was defeated on 11 consecutive days by the opposition during the budget session on the issue of quorum, sources said. It was also the first time that quorum was pointed out during the winding up of the budget speech by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The sources said that some 84 MNAs of the ruling party belonging to the central and southern Punjab were not happy with the measures announced by the government in the budget for farmers as they were consistently demanding zero tax on agriculture sector but their demands were not paid heed to.

Sources said that Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Chaudhry Jaffer Iqbal, Najaf Abbas Sial, Rana Hayyat, Rao Ajmal and Raza Hayat Hiraj of the PML-N were leading the fight for the rights of farmers and they also enjoyed support of almost all the members who were landlord and agriculturists.

These disgruntled MNAs recorded their protest during the finance minister’s speech as well when they started leaving the House one by one and at one point only 48 members from the ruling party were present in the National Assembly. To defeat their own government, one of these PML-N MNAs requested independent MNA Malik Amir Dogar to point out the quorum, who did it and Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had to stop the finance minister’s speech and order his staff to count the members. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif rushed to the angry parliamentarians and requested them to come back, who in turn bombarded the minister with a volley of complaints and grievances. Kh Asif assured them that their problems would be addressed, on which they rejoined the House and the proceedings resumed.

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