ISLAMABAD - Ruling PML-N was in hot waters as over three dozen parliamentarians, mainly from central and southern Punjab districts, were in defiance mood and not taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly to record their protest against ‘charged, rude and indifferent behaviour’ of their own party colleagues in the federal cabinet.

There was uneasiness in the top party cadre as some powerful ministers in the cabinet were standing apart from each other, and despite serious efforts at the level of the prime minister, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has failed to resolve the discord between them, a senior party leader informed The Nation.

Though the senior party leaders and some of the cabinet members downplayed the issue but they too admitted that a few party parliamentarians have some concerns regarding the resolution of the problems in their respective constituencies.

“Such minor issues do exist in the national political parties, especially those that are in power, as it is extremely difficult to appease and satisfy each and every parliamentarian or adjust him in the federal cabinet,” these party leaders explained.

The group led by Najaf Abbas Sial, an MNA from Jhang, is very much with the party and was not carving out a forward bloc in the party as their grievances were about a few senior ministers who according to them were not attending to their problems, sources in the party said.

But some PML-N insiders termed it a serious issue, as some party MNAs have overtly expressed their concern and in protest not attended several sittings of the National Assembly resulting in the quorum issue in the budget session when probably the treasury failed to maintain quorum for almost nine times and the session was suspended to complete it.

Sensing the gravity of the situation Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in consultation with his elder brother Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif decided to call the party’s Parliamentary Party meeting to resolve the issue by giving audience to the disgruntled party MPs.

Sources in the party said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in London after his open heart surgery, was very much disturbed over the situation and called some of the senior party leaders to London and also his staff to look into the matter as in the given situation the party could not afford any fissures in the party ranks.

The sources said that soon after the Panama Papers revelations Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had started meeting the party MPs and also announced massive grants for development projects in their respective constituencies but that process was halted owing to his surgery.

In his absence the senior cabinet members continued to give cold shoulder to the party MPs as they were not ready to listen to their issues and problems what to speak of any respite to them, an MNA from southern Punjab said, but he did not want his name to be quoted.

A veteran parliamentarian said that it was embarrassing for the government which was solely responsible to maintain quorum especially in the budget session. He further said that party leadership needed to resolve the issues resulting in the inner-party frictions which if not addressed right now would turn more problematic in coming days.

The ruling PML-N has single-handedly 188 MPs in the house, including the women and minority members, yet it was not only embarrassing but alarming that since the initiation of budget debate quorum was pointed out nine time and it was not found in order and the chair had to suspended the proceedings for bringing requisite number of MPs in the house.

Najaf Sial claimed that some 70 to 80 MNAs were not happy with the governance of their own party, particularly the indifferent and rude behaviour of the ministers with them was not at all acceptable.

He said that they would continue boycotting the National Assembly proceedings until the party leadership give them audience and redress their grievances.

Another party source said that there was a group of aspirants who wanted to become part of the cabinet but with no chance of getting berth in the cabinet they have lost hope and become dormant, and they are not playing active role in the parliament as well as party affairs.