LAHORE - The opposition parties in Punjab for the second phase of local bodies’ polls will follow the previous electoral strategy of seat adjustments despite the defeat in the first round.

Opposition parties in Punjab Assembly, PTI, PPP, PML-Q and JI made several deliberations over fielding joint candidates in the local bodies’ election but could not develop a consensus and agreed to the formula of seat adjustments.

The Nation interviewed opposition parties’ leaders yesterday for their new plans concerning electoral strategy for the second phase after the defeat in the first face off by the ruling party.

Though they are following the old formula for the second phase in terms of election contesting strategy but they would jointly press the Election Commission to deploy the Army and Rangers troops inside and outside the polling stations for the peaceful and transparent conduction of second and third phase of the local bodies’ polls.

PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhry Sarwar told The Nation that his party would only make seat adjustments in the next phase of local elections’ following previous formula as there was no room for new strategy.

“We will reach out to the opposition parties for devising a joint strategy for transparent and peaceful local bodies’ polls,” he said.

“PTI will press the Election Commission for ensuring deployment of Army and Rangers troops to supervise the entire process of the next phases of the local elections,” Sarwar added.

Is there any possibility of boycott if demands not met, he asked, “My party will not boycott the polls but we will make all efforts to get our demands accepted.”

PPP Central Punjab president Manzoor Wattoo when called said, “Opposition parties must act sensibly for the second phase keeping in view the outcome of the first phase.” “We are ready to go with an idea that could benefit the opposition as the result of the next phase or the last round of the local elections would be the same as was of the first phase under the control of district administration and police,” he added.

He however rejected possibilities of boycotting elections under any circumstances and rolled the ball to the common consent of opposition parties for this matter.

A PML-Q spokesman said, “We are always open to new ideas but I don’t think that the opposition parties would make a new formula for the next phase of local elections, as asking candidates for an eleventh-hour change would inflict political damages to the opposition parties.”

“We endorse not only the deployment of Army and Rangers troops in polling stations but the entire vote process should be overseen by them,” he added.

JI senior leader Ameerul Azeem said, “All the opposition parties will contest from their respective platforms and there are only remote possibilities of seat adjustments like the first phase.”

“We and other opposition parties were ready for launching joint candidates in the first phase but the PTI did not agree to this formula. As far as the matter of deploying the Army and Rangers soldiers the JI endorses the opposition parties,” he added.