24 PTI leaders from South Punjab joins PPP

 Several former MNAs and MPAs left PTI and joins PPP after meeting with former president Asif Zardari in Lahore

The 24 PTI leaders from South Punjab join the PPP after meeting with former president and co-chairman PPP Asif Zardari in Bilawal House Lahore. At least 10 are from Muzaffargarh.  PPP is concentrating on South Punjab to regain the lost ground. Many PTI ticket holders have returned the party tickets to join the PPP.    

The politicians include former MNA Qutub Farid Korija, former MPAs Allah Wasaya Chunnu Leghari (father of former PTI MPA and Punjab cabinet member Khurram Leghari), Rasool Bakhsh Jatoi, Syed Tehseen Nawaz Gardezi, Alamdar Abbas Qureshi, Pir Jaffer Muzamil, Abdul Ghafoor Arain, Mian Ali Hyder Wattoo, Salman Ayub Mohal, Qasim Ali Shamsi and Fariha Batool.

Raees Akmal Waran, Sardar Shamsher Mazari, Abdul Aziz Kalanak, Atta Qureshi, Syed Jameel Shah, Syed Rashid Shah, Sheikh Dilshad Ahmed, Bilal Mustafa, Mian Salman Ayub, Mian Ameer Haider Wattoo, Ayaz Khan, Amjad Khan Niazi, Muzamil Khan, Umar Masood Farooqui and others also join PPP.

The majority of the politicians hail from Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Mianwali, Khanewal and Okara. Former president Asif Zardari welcomed the new entrants in the party fold. All these are not winning candidates but have influence in their constituencies. They can bag more votes for the party in these constituencies.

More PTI leaders from Multan, Khanewal and other districts are likely to join the PPP in coming days. Senior PPP leader and former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani have claimed that many former PTI lawmakers are in contact and want to join the party.

There is tough battle going on between PPP and Tareen group to win over the most number of politicians leaving the PTI from South Punjab. Jahangir Tareen is trying to form a new party to accommodate the electables leaving PTI.  

A mass exodus from the PTI begin after the violent riots in the country after the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a graft case on May 9. Several government buildings, including sensitive military installations were attacked in the riots.

Besides a number of people, who were awarded PTI tickets for Punjab Assembly elections, also quit the party and returned their tickets, condemning the May 9 violence and attacks on military installations.

Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, former governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, former chairman Senate secretary general PPP Nayyar Hussein Bokhari and general secretary PPP Punjab Hassan Murtaza were present.

                                                                  Khalid Bhatti

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