Two members of the National Assembly belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) joined the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday.
Raja Muhammad Safdar and Raja Muhammad Asad – the two MNAs from Jhelum, who happen to be real brothers, met with President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House in Karachi.
Later, they announced joining the PPP along with their father, Raja Muhammad Afzal, who is also a former MNA.
“I, along with my two sons, have joined the PPP,” Raja Afzal told a news conference at the PPP Media Cell. Federal Minister Khurshid Shah, MNA Faryal Talpur and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon were present on the occasion.
According to the Raja family, Malik Riaz was instrumental in convincing them to join the PPP because the Rajas were feeling disillusioned after they fell out of favour with the Sharif family.
Raja Afzal was a strong politician of the PML-N in central Punjab. His differences with the PML-N started in the recent by-election for provincial assembly seat in Jhelum (PP 26) which fell vacant after the disqualification of PML-N’s MPA Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim.
Raja Afzal sought a party ticket from this constituency from Nawaz Sharif who urged him to stay away from the provincial seat as his two sons were already MNAs.
Nawaz asked both candidates – Chaudhry Khadim Hussain and Raja Afzal – to contest elections as independent candidates and whoever wins would later join the PML-N. Khadim Hussain defeated Raja Afzal and joined the PML-N.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2013.