LAHORE - The PML-N has named candidates for two Punjab Senate seats with determination to get them back after it lost the same due to disqualification of its Upper House members by the Supreme Court on the basis of their dual nationality.

On the instructions of the Party leadership, four party men have filed their nomination papers each for one male and female seat of Punjab. Former senator and senior member of the Party Saood Majid, former state minister for health Saira Afzal Tarar, MPA and senior party leader Ishrat Ashraf and Barrister Abid Waheen Sheikh are the candidates who filed the nomination papers here yesterday. All four are potential candidates with long affiliation with the party. The final names for the award of ticket will be decided by party patron Nawaz Sharif after consultations with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, say the party sources. At present, the sources say, Saood Majid and Saira Afzal Tarar appear in good position to put up a good fight in Senate elections due on November 15 in the Punjab Assembly.

The PTI has finalised names of grandson of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Waleed Iqbal, and Seemi Aizdi to contest for these seats. Previously Waleed Iqbal was promised ticket in by-election for NA-131 Lahore seat but the party leadership changed the decision and awarded the ticket to Humayun Akhtar Khan who lost the polls to PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique on the seat won by PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the general elections.

The said two seats were previously held by PML-N’s Haroon Akhtar Khan, brother of Humayun Akhtar Khan and Saadia Abbasi, sister of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

According the party position in the Punjab Assembly, the PTI with the support of PML-Q enjoys the support of 182+10=192 members against the combined seats of 176 of the Opposition make out from PML-N, 169 and PPP-7. One seat is being held by PRHP while three are independents.

The PTI on the face is this tally is in a good position to capture both seats but the PML-N would not let it get the same so easily. In the last election held on the seat vacated by the PTI’s Ch Muhammad Sarwar the election was won by the PTI Dr Waseem yet with the margin of a dozen of votes. PML-N candidate Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan had then sprung a surprise when he bagged 12 more votes from the number he held in his hand before the polls. The additional number of votes believably came to him from the side of Treasury which had doubted the independents joining them later on, for shifting their loyalties in the secret balloting.

The PML-N is also due to hold meetings and work out strategy to bridge the gap of the last by-election on the sole senate seat and outnumber the rivals. Sources say for that end the PML-N leadership would put in the field the strongest candidates whose political charisma and personal contacts can also attract the members of the rival side. The PML-N which originally led the Senate with 33 seats stands at 30 seats at present after two its members got disqualified and membership of another Muhammad Ishaq Dar is suspended under the Supreme Court orders.