Who is behind the PTI forward block in Punjab?

Who is behind the PTI forward block in Punjab?

20 member block can cause serious problems

The power politics in Punjab has taken a new turn as PML-Q on one hand and group of disgruntled MPAs within PTI has come out openly to press their demands. It seems that new power struggle has begun in Punjab. The pressure is mounting on PTI led coalition government in Punjab. The Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar is also under pressure to improve his governance.
The different powerful groups In PTI is trying to outmaneuvered each other to gain the upper hand. They believe that game is almost over for CM Punjab Usman Buzdar. They believe that despite throwing his weight and support behind Usman Buzdar publically- PM Imran Khan is not happy with him. It might take some time before he was formally removed and replaced with someone more active and having better image than Buzdar.
Many people are guessing that who is behind the forward block of 20 MPAs and what is the real purpose of this group. There is no straight forward or simple answer of this question. The reason is that lot of things are going on behind the scenes. There are two possibilities- one- Usman Buzdar himself has formed this group to put pressure on the leadership not to replace him as CM Punjab or he asked PML-Q to form this group to foil the attempt to remove him.
PML-Q wants to keep Usman Buzdar as CM Punjab because of his weak political position. Chaudhrys of Gujrat is fully backing Usman Buzdar to keep away a strong CM Punjab within PTI ranks. PML-Q is vying to increase its influence in some districts. It needs weak CM like Usman Buzdar or CM slot for Ch Pervez Elahi. PML-Q is eyeing for the CM slot. They are waiting for the right time to outmaneuver PTI. The position of PML-Q is clear- Usman Buzdar or Ch Pervez Elahi as CM Punjab. Chaudhrys of Gujrat are smart movers in Punjab politics.    
 Imran Khan looks desperate to improve the image of Punjab government. He has empowered the chief secretary Punjab to improve the governance. But he knows the dangers of replacing Usman Buzdar immediately. He knows well that there are many powerful groups within the PTI who wants to get the CM slot in the case of change.
The already existing fractures within the party might get out of control and create a messy situation for PTI. PTI knows that it needs the support of PML-Q to maintain its narrow majority in Punjab assembly. If any forward block emerge in the party and side with opposition PML-N and ally PML-Q then number game can change. Imran Khan is trying to avoid this scenario. That is why Usman Buzdar is still hanging around.   
Usman Buzdar is feeling the pressure that is mounting in the PTI. Federal minister Fawad Chaudhry has openly question the performance of CM Punjab. PM Imran Khan is not seems satisfied with his performance and negative media image. So Usman Buzdar is trying to save his position and he might have encouraged the disgruntled MPAs to form a group to get fund released for legislatures.
Many PTI MPAs are not happy that they have been denied the funds for their constituencies. So 20 MPAs of the ruling PTI in Punjab Assembly had categorically threatened party senior leadership of creating a forward bloc within PTI if they are not issued development funds.
At a time when the party is facing immense resentment from the coalition partners, the rift within the ranks of PTI came as a blow to the CM, whose performance is already being questioned.
The disgruntled MPAs are saying that the people elect their representatives so that they can undertake development schemes in their respective constituencies but despite passage of one-and-a-half-year, we have not been able to do anything due to non-release of uplift funds.
The group consists of members from both Central and South Punjab. Most of MPAs Central Punjab belongs to district Jhang and Sargodha. The development fund is important issue for elected representatives as they make promises with people to undertake development work in their areas to get votes.
The MPAs are under immense pressure from their constituencies to kick start development work and provide jobs. Both are not being done so far. This pressure will mount as the time pass through. This is another factor behind this grouping of MPAs. They are using the frictions between PML-Q and PTI to press their own demands.
Such groups can play destablising role in a fragile situation. Anyone can use such groups for its own interests. The game has started. Usman Buzdar will everything for his survival.
The PML-Q is a key coalition partner in Punjab critical for the PTI coalition government to sustain its majority in 371-member provincial assembly of Punjab. The PTI-led coalition is leading the Punjab Assembly with 191 members including 10 PML-Q MPAs, with a lead of only 5 members against 185 required for a simple majority.
So the group of 20 MPAs become king maker in that sort of situations. This group can put PTI in serious trouble.
 “If the 20 MPAs of PTI opt for creating a forward bloc, the party will be in serious trouble," said a senior PTI leader who wished not to be named. Even more MPAs can join this forward block. The situation seems serious for PTI.
                                            Khalid Bhatti

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