Bilawal meets PPP MPs after rumours of forward bloc in Sindh PA

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KARACHI: After consulting a senior party leader, Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party met with several provincial leaders and MPAs following rumours of a probable forward bloc in Sindh against the government. The rumours came up after a top provincial leader who holds a highly important political and constitutional position in Sindh (under inquiry of NAB) reportedly asked some of the PPP MPAs secretly for their support to him, as according to him he was going to hold top position of province very soon.

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The issue was reported to the top political leadership by some of them and then the party took serious notice of the development. On the direction of the party top leadership, Syed Khurshied Shah rushed to Karachi where he met with Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durnai, Sindh chief minister, some ministers and many MPAs.

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Party sources told The News that Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also started meetings with provincial party leaders including MPAs to counter any possible move to create rift in party ranks. Sources inside the party said the same political personality who begged support from MPAs has serious differences with Chief Minister Syed Murad Shah on certain issues.

The numerical break-up of the strength of political parties in the 168-member Sindh Assembly is as follows: PPP is the majority party with 99 seats followed by PTI 30 seats, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) 20 seats, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) 14 seats, and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) 3 seats. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has only 1 seat.

The opposition’s alliance comprising of PTI, MQM, GDA and TLP in the provincial legislature has 68 seats in total, 17 members short of a simple majority. In the present scenario where several PPP leaders, near forty percent MPAs, incumbent and former chief ministers, party’s main leadership are facing serious cases of corruption, money laundering, fake bank accounts and other serious offences by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), some analysts are of the view that the federal government could attempt to benefit from the situation and could opt for the creation of a forward bloc in the Sindh Assembly to topple the PPP-led government.

Despite many efforts, no party leader or MPAs were willing to talk on the record; however, many MPAs of the ruling party on the condition of anonymity disclosed that they are under pressure of some circles for changing their loyalties. One MPA told this reporter that he was under pressure and he and his family members were facing baseless cases and inquiries but instead of changing political loyalties he would prefer to quit politics

Senior party leaders told The News that these are just rumours as due to 18th Amendment it was impossible to create any forward bloc. He also said people are making efforts to create rifts in the party but the PPP is a strong political party having its roots in the masses, adding that it was impossible for anyone to beak it. He said all the PPP parliamentarians and senior leadership are on the same page and nobody can think of leaving the party of the people.

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