LAHORE – Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has warned the Pakistan People’s party leadership of losing his party’s support in the centre, if appointment of Manzoor Wattoo as PPP Punjab chief will not be reverted, The Nation has learnt.

The PML-Q insiders told The Nation that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi flown to the federal capital, canceling his important meetings in Lahore on Tuesday,and made it clear to the PPP leadership that only the PML-Q would lead the ‘Mission Punjab’ and Wattoo should either be withdrawn or work according to the plans of the PML-Q to take power in Punjab.

Sources quoted senior party leaders as saying that Pervaiz Elahi, irked by Manzoor Wattoo’sappointment as PPP Punjab chief, had reminded the PPP leaders about their pledge that the PML-Q would lead the coalition partners in Punjab. “The deputy premier warned the PPP of parting ways with the ruling coalition if any attempt was made to backstab the PML-Q”, they said.

Insiders claimed that Wattoo had already indirectly contacted with some members of the PML-Q Forward Bloc and former PPP (Patriots) now part of the PML-Q in a bid to allure them to join hands with the PPP by throwing lucrative offers besides development funds.

They maintained that a special secret fund would be on the disposal of Wattoo to make inroads in the ranks of their coalition partner and the PML-N.

Some federal ministers and PML-Q senior leaders told The Nation that party chief, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, in a mild tone and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in a rough tone conveyed their reservations to the PPP leadershipover the ‘clandestine role’ of Wattoo.  According to sources, the PPP leadership had assured them of Wattoo’s complete cooperation in getting Punjab for the coalition partners. However, they added that Chaudhries, keeping in view the ambitious nature of Wattoo, were not relying on PPP’s assurance and wanted practical steps to limit his activities.

Meanwhile, some PPP ministers revealed to The Nation that the party leadership deliberately appointed Manzoor Wattoo to get Punjab, as they believed that Chaudhries could not deliver a severe blow to the PML-N and remained unable to gather strength to triumph in the next election. They maintained that Manzoor Wattoo would carry out ‘Punjab Task’ regardless of the promises PPP had made with PML-Q over the role of new party president in the province.