RAHIM YAR KHAN - A rift has emerged in the PML-N here over the issuance of party tickets to turncoats who recently joined the party, ignoring the old ones who sacrificed for it and never changed their loyalties.

The most aggravated situation is in NA-196, PP-293 and PP-294 constituencies which cover Rahim Yar Khan’s city and southern rural areas.

The PML-N Parliamentary Board has awarded NA-196 ticket to Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, who was PML-N MPA in 1998, then he had joined PML-Q in Musharraf regime and later jumped on the PPP bandwagon in 2007.

Ch Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar, senior vice president of the PML-N Punjab, had demanded two tickets for PP-293 and PP-294 for persons of his group but the party decided to issue the ticket to Mehmood Cheema who is in the group of Mian Imtiaz Ahmed.

Jaffar Iqbal group’s Chaudhry Shafiq Chenab, the senior vice president of PML-N district Rahim Yar Khan, was the expected candidate for PP-293. But Iqbal Gujjar dropped his name and recommended the name of his son Umer Jaffar for the PP-293, annoying Shafiq who then filed his nomination papers for the seats of NA-196 and PP-294 as an independent candidate.

Now, Ch Shafiq is trying to get the PTI ticket. If he succeeds, he will contest against Mian Imtiaz Ahmed in NA-196 and Mehmood Cheema in PP-294. Similarly on the seat of PP-293, Ch Abdur Rauf, former city president of PML-N and ticket holder, has also submitted his nomination papers as an independent candidate against Umer Jaffar, the candidate of PML-N.

Abdur Rauf said that only he was eligible for the PP-293 ticket consists of main city area, and added that the only purpose to file the nomination papers is to defeat Umer Jaffar. Similarly in tehsil Khanpur, the PML-N decided to issue the PP-290 ticket to Ijaz Shafi, who was elected twice in 2002 and 2008 as MPA from platform of PML-Q and joined unification block in 2009 on the advice of a prominent business figure.

This annoyed senior leader and former ticket holder of PML-N of PP-290, Ch Muhammad Sabir, who has filed his nomination papers as an independent candidate and will fight against Ijaz Shafi from the PTI platform, sources said.

Another supporter of PML-N, Ch Arshad, has parted ways with PML-N and got the ticket of PPP for the PP-290 seat. In tehsil Sadiqabad, the PML-N issued the NA-197 ticket to Arshad Khan Leghari who was the only PML-N MNA in 2008 elections. Former state minister of youth affairs in Musharraf regime, Rais Munir Ahmed, who joined the PML-N in 2012, and former District Council chairman Rais Mehbood Ahmed are also expected ticket holders of the PML-N for NA-197.

According to the sources, Rais Munir and Rais Mehboob who already have political difference with each other will never support Arshad Khan Leghari. This will benefit Syed Murtaza Mehmood, the son of Punjab Governor Syed Ahmed Ahmad Mehmood and PPP candidate for NA-197.