LAHORE - Hamza Shahbaz, Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, has said the PML-N will show once again in the by-election that Lahore belongs to it.

Talking to party men here, Hamza said the PML-N would play the role of a strong opposition in the Punjab Assembly without making any compromise on the demand for a probe into the last general elections, which were “massively rigged in favour of the rival party”.

Hamza said the PML-N was intact and would become stronger with the every passing day. He dispelled the impression of a rift in the party. After what happened in the speaker’s election, he said, party legislators had pledged to follow the party discipline and line of action. He condemned the attempts to force the party legislators to deviate from the party policy in the speaker’s election. He warned of consequences if an attempt was made to create a forward bloc out of the PML-N.

Hamza said the last PML-N government at the federal and the Punjab level achieved major targets of development and progress. He said the country was rid of loadshedding and terrorism and put on the road of economic prosperity. He said the PTI government cannot hold a candle to development works of the PML-N government. “People will know with the passage of time how we served them and how the PTI government delivered,” he said. He said the PTI was confused and did not know what direction it had to take. “A party that comes to rule with the support of others and intrigues can hardly win confidence of the masses,” he said and added that politics of mendacity and deception cannot work anymore. He said making claims is something else and making them good is another. The PML-N government made untiring efforts to achieve the development targets, he said.

Hamza opened the election office at Coop Store in the NA-124 constituency where the PML-N has fielded former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the October 14 by-election.

He said that electricity loadshedding of 14 hours a day and 46 percent increase in gas prices exposed the PTI government. He said that credit for Bhasha Dam goes to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who allocated Rs100 billion to start this project.

He said the PTI put up hurdles in the way of PML-N government’s projects. He said that PTI’s sit-in caused 22-month delay in completion of Orange Line. He also picked holes in PTI’s federal and provincial cabinets. He accused Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi of involvement in corrupt practices in the past.