Fifteen independent councillors have rejected the PML-N leaders’ offer to join the ruling party.

PML-N MNA Ali Hassan Gillani along with Shehzad Suhail Khakwani knocked the doors of all 15 independent councillors and invited them on a luncheon on January 24, 2016. He also announced to give Rs5 million development funds to each independent councillor and urged them to back his two nominees for two special labour seats, Rana Shahid Rafique and Raees Tariq Mustafa and candidate for chairmanship Shehzad Suhail Khakwani.

After his meeting with independent councillors, it was published in a section of press that 15 independent councillors have joined PML-N. PML-N MPA Qazi Adnan Farid’s younger brother Qazi Burhan Farid held a meeting with them at the residence of Malik Usman Rasheed Bobak.

Qazi Burhan Farid urged independents to join PML-N, but they refused to join it however assured them of voting for PML-N majority group leader Malik Usman Rasheed for the slot of the chairmanship.

The meeting was attended councillors Murtaza Qureshi, Mujtaba Qureshi, Yousaf Khokhar, Ajmal Taheem, Tanveer Jat, Akhtar Rajput, Talib Khan, Abbas Gujjar, Rashad Minhas, Farhan Lashrari, Hashim Kamboh, Asif Ameer, Allah Bakhsh Joya and Jamil Parwana. Councillor Hanif Qureshi did not attend the lunch but he told this scribe that he will not join the ruling party. PML-N had obtained 26 out of 45 seats of Municipal Committee Ahmedpur East while 15 independents and four PTI candidates had been elected in the third phase of local bodies elections. Now both MNA Ali Hassan Gillani and MPA Qazi Adnan Farid are struggling to get PML-N tickets for their favourites. However, the majority of the elected PML-N and independent councillors are backing the candidature of MPA Qazi Adnan Farid’s nominee Malik Usman Rasheed.