LAHORE - JAWAD R AWAN - The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf has delayed intra-party polls in Punjab amid hundreds of objections sent to the party’s election commission by the candidates against each other, TheNation has learnt.
Despite completing the scrutiny process for the union councils (UCs) party polls, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf election commission was doing the same for the last few days after the major opposing groups threatened to boycott or not accepting the results of the party polls, sources added. They said the polls, which had to be started from Rawalpindi on January 19, now awaits next date expected to be announced by party’s central election commissioner, Hamid Khan, tomorrow (Tuesday).
Shadab Jafferi, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Punjab election commissioner, when contacted said the scrutiny date had been extended after the number of objections raised by candidates against each other.
He, however, evaded the question that the scrutiny process date was already closed when the party’s election commission received objections by candidates of various camps, especially a group of newcomers led by known land developers.
Jafferi also hinted at the possibilities of a new schedule by party’s central election commissioner in a day or two.
However, the party sources telling another story to this correspondent that members of the major groups, especially a camp led by PML-Q deserters filed objections against their opponents at the eleventh hour and threatened to boycott the party polls when the election commission refused to oblige their objections.
The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf provincial election commission in the first week of this month said despite all the challenges, the party polls would start from January 19, while the party’s central election commission also provided a copy of its schedule to this scribe, which stated that Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party polls in Punjab to be started from Rawalpindi on January 19 and the exercise would be concluded in Lahore on January 31.
The party sources quoting close aides of Imran Khan as saying that Khan was upset about the delay due to the infighting among party groups and could show the door to the troublemakers.
They added the party chief had asked his close aides to issue show-cause notice to the leaders of group led by former PML-Q members who were troubling for the party time and again for their sole influence especially in Lahore.
“The UCs are the first phase of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf intra-party polls, while it has to complete party polls for tehsil, towns, districts, regions, provinces and centre before the next general elections,” the sources added.
A senior party leader said the UC level intra-party polls was the first foundation of electoral college for other tiers of party polls and failure to conduct the process would send a wave of disappointment among the old guard who believed that many of the newcomers could only be weeded out from the party through polls.
Another party leader was of the opinion that the party polls in Punjab were highly important, as they would decide the fate of the party in Punjab keeping in view its tall claims challenging the hot seat of the PML-N.