It is difficult to predict that when exactly Chief Minister Punjab will be removed from his position. The pressure is mounting on Sardar Usman Buzdar to deliver or go home. His performance and image has become a problem for PTI. Every effort has been made by Imran Khan to improve his negative media image but nothing changed. He changed at least half a dozen spokesmen to improve and build his image but all failed.
Prime Minister changed chief secretaries and Inspector General of the Police (IGP) to improve the governance in Punjab. But same problems persist with each chief secretary and IGP. In the beginning- the perception was that bureaucracy is not cooperating with chief minister. Most of the bureaucracy was changed. But situation remained the same. Now there is realisation in the leadership of PTI that Usman Buzdar is not the solution but himself a problem.
But one thing is certain that he will not be able to last long. His strongest supporter and backer-Prime Minister Imran Khan is also not seems happy and satisfied with him. Imran Khan continues to put his weight behind Usman Buzdar publically and to keep the powerful groups within PTI in check.
Imran Khan so far did everything to keep him in power and still trying to save him but situation is becoming much more difficult for Usman Buzdar to survive in the long run. Now recently- Prime Minister Imran Khan in a desperate attempt to improve the performance and image of Punjab government-He has empowered the chief secretary Punjab to make direct contact with PM office to make key decisions without involving CM Punjab.
The one big factor that has saved Usman Buzdar is the internal frictions and groupings within PTI Punjab. There are more than dozen leaders vying for the coveted post of CM Punjab. The decision of replacing Usman Buzdar will certainly intensify the power struggle within the party. The already existed frictions and fractures might become wide open.
So Imran Khan knows the dangers of change in Punjab. He knows the dangers of replacing Usman Buzdar immediately. He knows well that there are many powerful groups within the PTI who wants to get the CM slot in the case of change. This factor alone has played key role in the continuation of Usman Buzdar as CM Punjab so far.
But pressure is mounting from all sides. Many MPAs are not happy with Usman Buzdar. The group of 20 disgruntled MPAs has already surfaced within PTI. The powers that be are also not impressed by the performance of Usman Buzdar. Some federal ministers from Punjab are also not satisfied with the performance of Punjab government.
Apart from Imran Khan- PML-Q is another political force which wants to keep Usman Buzdar as chief minister of Punjab.
The different powerful groups In PTI is trying to outmaneuvered each other to gain the upper hand. They believe that game is almost over for CM Punjab Usman Buzdar. They believe that despite throwing his weight and support behind Usman Buzdar publically- PM Imran Khan is not happy with him. It might take some time before he was formally removed and replaced with someone more active and having better image than Buzdar.
PML-Q wants to keep Usman Buzdar as CM Punjab because of his weak political position. Chaudhris of Gujrat are fully backing Usman Buzdar to keep away a strong CM Punjab within PTI ranks. PML-Q is vying to increase its influence in some districts. It needs weak CM like Usman Buzdar or CM slot for Ch Pervez Elahi. PML-Q is eyeing for the CM slot. They are waiting for the right time to outmaneuver PTI. The position of PML-Q is clear- Usman Buzdar or Ch Pervez Elahi as CM Punjab. Chaudhris of Gujrat are smart movers in Punjab politics.
The already existing fractures within the party might get out of control and create a messy situation for PTI. PTI knows that it needs the support of PML-Q to maintain its narrow majority in Punjab assembly. If any forward block emerge in the party and side with opposition PML-N and ally PML-Q then number game can change. Imran Khan is trying to avoid this scenario. That is why Usman Buzdar is still hanging around.
Usman Buzdar is feeling the pressure that is mounting in the PTI. Federal minister Fawad Chaudhry has openly question the performance of CM Punjab. PM Imran Khan is not seems satisfied with his performance and negative media image. So Usman Buzdar is trying to save his position and he might have encouraged the disgruntled MPAs to form a group to get fund released for legislatures.
Many PTI MPAs are not happy that they have been denied the funds for their constituencies. So 20 MPAs of the ruling PTI in Punjab Assembly had categorically threatened party senior leadership of creating a forward bloc within PTI if they are not issued development funds.
The MPAs are under immense pressure from their constituencies to kick start development work and provide jobs. Both are not being done so far. This pressure will mount as the time pass through. This is another factor behind this grouping of MPAs. They are using the frictions between PML-Q and PTI to press their own demands.
Such groups can play destablising role in a fragile situation. Anyone can use such groups for its own interests. The game has started. Usman Buzdar will everything for his survival.
The PML-Q is a key coalition partner in Punjab critical for the PTI coalition government to sustain its majority in 371-member provincial assembly of Punjab. The PTI-led coalition is leading the Punjab Assembly with 191 members including 10 PML-Q MPAs, with a lead of only 5 members against 185 required for a simple majority.
So the group of 20 MPAs become king maker in that sort of situations. This group can put PTI in serious trouble. Even more MPAs can join this forward block. The situation seems serious for PTI. PTI has left with very few options to improve its image in Punjab and to maintain its support base.
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