MUZAFFARGARH/LAHORE: A PML-N lawmaker from Punjab met the provincial chief minister, Sardar Usman Buzdar, according to the host of the meeting, even as the PML-N and the MPA himself denied the report, terming it "propaganda".
In a video statement, MPA Azhar Abbas Chandia confirmed that he had met Buzdar "unintentionally" and that he was unaware that meeting the PTI leader was a violation of the PML-N's rules.
"The first meetings with the Punjab chief minister were held unintentionally," he said. "I did not know that meeting [him] was a violation of the party's rules.
"When I found out that it was not appropriate, I stopped meeting the Punjab Chief Minister [Usman Buzdar]," he clarified, adding that he swore on oath that he was with the PML-N.
"My whole life is dedicated to the PML-N and I wholeheartedly support Nawaz Sharif's ideology," he added, underlining that he "will accept the party's decisions".
Azhar Abbas Chandia dismissed reports of the meeting, condemning the "false propaganda" regarding the meeting with the Punjab CM and saying he had not met Buzdar "today".
The last time the two saw each other was "two or four months ago", he said, adding that the PML-N had issued him a show-cause notice over the matter.
The lawmaker said he used to meet Buzdar due to their family ties and underscored that he had showed no indication during the meeting that he was leaving the PML-N.
"I will fully participate in the Workers' Convention on November 5," he vowed.
Separately, CM Buzdar in a statement confirmed that he met Azhar Abbas Chandia and that he kept "meeting friends" to maintain good ties with everyone.
Meanwhile, the PML-N strongly refuted reports of the Chandia-Buzdar meeting, with a party spokesperson saying the Punjab government had released an old photo to "run propaganda".
Azma Bukhari, the spokesperson for the PML-N's Punjab chapter, slammed the "vote-stealing, selected" government whom she accused were "experts of cheating".
"The PML-N's member of the Punjab Assembly, Azhar Chandia, did not meet the chief minister," Bukhari said, adding that the CM House had released an old clip.
"The PTI considers medals of shame and disgrace signs of good performance," she said. "Azhar Abbas Chandia thwarted their intentions by releasing a video statement."
"Azhar Chandia is currently busy preparing for the Workers' Convention in his constituency, Muzaffargarh.
"When Imran Khan is unable to find lotay [disloyal politicians], he starts such propaganda. Imran Khan, you collected all the lotay and made a mountain out of a molehill," she added, noting that the PTI government engaged in the politics of lies and forgery.
The PML-N Punjab spokesperson emphasised that every party member, including Azhar Abbas Chandia, stood by former premier Nawaz Sharif's viewpoints.
A day prior, the Government of Punjab had said on its official Twitter account that Chandia had called on Buzdar, expressing confidence in the chief minister and strongly condemning the "controversial statements from the PML-N's leadership against state institutions".
"Chandia apprised Buzdar of the problems in his constituency," the statement had said, adding that the chief minister assured the PML-N lawmaker "of resolving the issues on a priority basis".
"You always listened to us and solved problems," Chandia had reportedly told the chief minister. "You have given us honour and respect."
In response, Buzdar, according to the Punjab government's statement, had underlined that "making the state institutions controversial is a conspiracy to weaken Pakistan".
"We will thwart any such conspiracy with the power of the people," he had said. "We are sincerely engaged in serving the people."
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