BAHAWALPUR - The public meeting of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at Jhangiwala Road, near the newly constructed Civil Hospital, remained failed to attract a huge number of people despite tall claims by the local PML-N leaders and utilisation of resources by the administration, allegedly due to the differences within the party here.

However,, the city roads were decorated with a number of banners and posters inscribed with the government' "achievements" regarding public welfare and development. Thus, the party could not prove that Bahawalpur was its stronghold. According to local people, the public meeting has also put a question mark on the popularity of the PML-N and its claims to win the forthcoming general elections from the region.

It has learnt that the rift is between two rival groups. One of the factions is headed by the Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minster Mian Baleeghur Rehman (MNA), Punjab Minister Malik Iqbal Channar and Adviser to the Punjab Chief MinisterJehanzeb Warren (MPA). The other group is being headed by Punjab Chief Minister's Task Force Chairman Samiullah Chaudhry, Haji Zulfiqar Ali (MPA) and PML-N district president Ali Hassan Gillani.

It was also learnt that the banners and posters were removed by the rival groups from the public meeting to prove their group's popularity and strength. The time announced for the public meeting was 11-00am but the chief minister reached the site at around 3-00 pm and the supporters had to sit there without shelter and water besides the poor sound system which also disturbed them and they started cursing the organisers.

The sitting arrangement was made for more than 10,000 people but majority of the seats remained empty till the end of the public meeting which was also a big surprise for the Punjab chief minister.