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May 4, 2019

PML-Q finds fault with LG Bill


May 4, 2019

LAHORE Differences between PTI and PML-Q have come to surface over the recently passed Local Government Bill 2019 after Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, the PML-Q central leader raised objections to it.

MNA Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, son of Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who is also awaiting his turn to take oath as federal minister despite assurance by the PTI government through a tweet on Thursday night stated that LG Bill carries ‘several inherent faults.’ Moonis Elahi in the tweet had stated that ‘KP and Punjab can’t be compared. The difference in size of population is huge. The PTI needs to rethink strategy of copy and pasting KP formula’ said Moonis Elahi, who a couple of months ago was also seen in a twitter war with former federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry after latter had remarked that it wasn’t difficult for the government to form a forward bloc in PML-Q.

Moonis Elahi in his tweet also stated that “starting with taking already a significant number of 4,000 + units (Union Councils) to 24,000 + village councils, panchayats will increase your administrative expenses six times.”

“Minimum of Rs8 billion every year wasted on salaries and expenses” said Moonis in the tweet. This is noteworthy that Moonis Elahi has been in news for last couple of months for different reasons. A couple of months ago, his reaction on the remarks of Fawad Chaudhry also caught media attention and last month, reports of his meeting with Hamza Shahbaz started doing rounds though the PML-Q leadership denied it. Moreover, differences of PTI with its main ally in Punjab and Centre over the ministry of Moonis Elahi has also been giving rise to several speculations over the future of this alignment. Naeemul Haq, Special Assistant to Prime Minister, had personally visited Chaudhrys in January and assurance was given to the hosts that Chaudhry Moonis would soon be accommodated in federal cabinet.

After this assurance, an annoyed cabinet member of PML-Q Hafiz Ammar Yasir, who resigned from ministry, had withdrawn the decision whereas Bau Rizwan, another Q-leaguer had taken oath as Punjab Minister. Moonis Elahi; however, is yet to take oath. The PML-N leadership in Punjab Assembly has endorsed the viewpoint of Moonis Elahi, the PML-Q MNA concerning the LG Bill 2019. Samiullah Khan, the PML-N MPA while talking to media outside PA stated that Opposition was already raising voice against the LG Bill 2019 and its view had been seconded by the government allies. He said the points raised by Moonis Elahi regarding the LB Bill were valid and carried weight adding there was no doubt that it was merely a ‘copy and paste’ bill adopted from KP.

Samiullah Khan also stated that it was strange that Moonis Elahi’s father in clear violation of rules had supported this bill. Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja, while commenting on the tweet, said it was ‘premature’ to say anything about it but it was a fact that all allies were taken into confidence over this bill on different stages. He said if PML-Q had reservations regarding the LG Bill, they could be addressed.

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