LAHORE - Former PML-N MPA Muhammad Ajasam Sharif and his father Haji Muhammad Sharif announced to join the PTI on Saturday

This move comes at a time when the PML-N is gearing up to contest a tough competition at NA-122 and PP-147 also the upcoming Local Government Elections.

Ajasam had returned to the Punjab Assembly twice from PP-140, Lahore on the ticket of PML-N.

Lahore is a known political hub of the PML-N. The decision of Ajasam leaving the PML-N and joining the PTI can be seen as an irritant if a not a jolt to the party. Adding to this the rising unification of anti-PML-N parties has also dented the party.

Haji Sharif, who is believed to be a close associate of Nawaz Sharif owing to his 35 years affiliation with the party, feels badly hurt on what he calls bad treatment and ignorance by the party leadership.

Haji Sharif was elected PML-N MPA during 1990-93 and 1997-99 while Ajasam Sharif during 2002-07 and 2008. In 2013 denying him ticket, the party awarded Majid Zahoor with the ticket. Ajasam contested polls as independent but failed to make any mark.

Near his residence at Mozang Adda, the Sharifs had a party office which served to unite party workers and kept their morale high during the worst days in Musharraf’s era.

They enjoy a huge support of the Arian family while friendship of Khwaja Riaz Mahmood with Haji Sharif also fetched a big chunk of Kashmiris.

Ajasam told scribe he left the party with a broken heart as he can’t bear the cold attitude of the party anymore. “No use of staying there where you don’t get respect”, he said. When questioned, if denial of ticket triggered you to leave the party, he said it was not the case. “Had the ticket been a reason, I would have left the party two years ago,” he added.

PML-N leader and Parliamentary Secretary for Informaton, Rana Muhammad Arshad insisted that Ajasam left for not being given the ticket. He said ticket to Ajasam was denied when workers and the UC members lodged complaints against him.

He said they protested and threatened not to vote against Ajasam which is why he was not given the ticket. He said Haji Sharif was an old Leaguer he should not have left the party which still pays him big respect. To a question, Rana Arshad said quitting of Sharifs, will cause no affect to the party position in by-polls which it was sure to win.