LAHORE - PTI Chairman Imran Khan Saturday claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif swindled billions of rupees of public money in the name of mega projects in the province.

Addressing a press conference along with other party leaders, he said the PTI was moving a reference in NAB against Punjab CM’s alleged corruption.

“After Nawaz Sharif, now is the turn of younger Sharif. He [Shehbaz] will be held accountable for plundering taxpayers money,” said the PTI chairman - who reached the provincial capital on a two-day visit to launch membership campaign.

Imran inaugurated membership camps at Liberty Chowk, Faisal Town, Yateem Khana Chowk, Liaqat Chowk, Sabzazar, Shadhara, Jalo Morre, Dahrampura and Passco Town. He also addressed party workers.

Giving details of Shehbaz alleged corruption, PTI chief said that four contractors worked as front-men of the CM in almost every mega projects.

The contractors, according to Khan, first made the low bids but the cost of projects was increased many times later in a planned way.

Saying this, he explained that a government could sanction additional funds to cover only upto 15 percent cost escalation and a detail inquiry is required if the cost increases beyond this limit.

Citing examples of Metro Bus and construction of a barrel for an underpass at Model Town Morr, he said the costs escalated by 121 percent (from Rs948.767 million to Rs2.06475 billion) and 255 percent (from Rs194.658 million to Rs497.788 million) respectively in both the projects.

He said CM’s blue-eyed Habib Construction Services (pvt) Limited was the contractor of both these projects.

Similarly, Imran claimed ZKB Reliable Engineering escalated the initial cost of dualisation of a road from LOS Ferozepur Road to Multan Road project by 600 percent (from Rs397.285 million to Rs1.985 billion).

“We will approach the NAB to launch investigation of this plunder in these projects.”

PTI chairman also accused Punjab government for spending an overwhelming amount of Punjab’s annual development funds on Lahore at the expense of other parts of the province – especially southern Punjab.

In 2016-17 fiscal, he claimed, 55 percent of the Rs635 billion ADP was spent on the development of the provincial capital. The amount, according to him, was three times than KP’s total budget of Rs110 billion.

He said Sharifs were misusing public money on the development of Raiwind area too to increase prices of the lands they had purchased at nominal prices.

Imran Khan said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s only agenda was to get his leader (Nawaz Sharif) freed from the corruption cases by getting an NRO. He also accused the PM of corruption in the LNG project.

To a question, he said he had objected to the involvement of money in the Senate election three years ago but no one paid any heed to this issue at that time and now the PML-N was crying wolf when it has lost the upper house election.

PTI chief announced a historic public meeting on April 29 at Minar-i-Pakistan, from where the party will officially start the campaign for upcoming general elections and also give reply to Nawaz Sharif’s rhetorical question: ‘mujhay q nikala (why was I ousted)’.

He appealed the people to become a member of the PTI to oust corrupt mafia from the power corridors and make a new Pakistan. He claimed the PTI will make next government in the country.