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June 10, 2019

PTI’s senior leadership rules out deputy CM slot in Punjab


June 10, 2019

LAHORE: PTI’s senior leadership including Abdul Aleem Khan has ruled out the possibility of anyone being assigned the slot of deputy chief minister in Punjab.

Party circles these days are abuzz with speculations after the bail of former senior minister Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan and a group within party believes that in the coming days the former senior minister will be assigned the role of a deputy chief minister in Punjab.

However, the PTI Punjab leadership thinks otherwise and rules out any such development in the province but at the same time sources said there are bright chances that Aleem Khan may be assigned a role in the cabinet of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, though he still faces opposition from some noted figures of his party. Already, while he was holding the office of the local government, reports pertaining to his differences with the chief minister started surfacing.

In a TV interview in January, he wished to go to the federal government and stated his aim was fulfilled the day Imran had taken oath as prime minister. Under Aleem Khan, the PTI government also launched a vibrant anti-encroachment operation in Punjab through which land worth billions was also retrieved. The operation also continued under the next local government minister Raja Basharat, who replaced Aleem Khan after the latter was arrested by the NAB. Besides, he also remained active in ‘PML-N exodus’ and brought noted figures to the PTI fold when he was the minister.

Some of the party figures, apparently representing the group of Aleem Khan claim that he would be assigned the role of a deputy chief minister. However, the senior party leaders have ruled out any such possibility and some of the senior party members who are also legal experts say there is no provision in the Punjab Assembly Rules of Procedures for the office of a deputy chief minister in the presence of a chief minister. Besides, the party is yet to be intimated about any role of Aleem Khan in the cabinet of Sardar Usman Buzdar, said different PTI leaders when contacted. “The news seen in some sections of media regarding any deputy chief minister in Punjab are far from reality, there has never been any such precedent in Punjab,” said a renowned figure associated with the PTI government. This correspondent also contacted Abdul Aleem Khan and asked him to comment on the media reports tipping him as the next deputy chief minister of Punjab; he said there was no such plan at all. Regarding his role in the Punjab cabinet in the coming days, he said so far he hadn’t even thought about it.

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