ISLAMABAD - After internal rifts on awarding tickets in the local bodies elections had cost PML-N over a 100 seats, its leadership is now reconsidering ways to better results for the second and third phases.

A series of meetings were held in this connection after the first phase of the local bodies’ elections in Punjab where a large number of independent candidates, actually belonging to PML-N, had returned victorious by defeating their own party fellows.

Sources aware of developments informed The Nation that the Prime Minister had expressed annoyance over the ticket awarding mismanagement which resulted in defeat of a large number of party’s ticketholders at the hands of independents who also belonged to PML-N. The independent candidates defied the party when they were not awarded party tickets and contested on their own.

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Sources said that although around 90 per cent independents who had won would join PML-N because they actually belonged to the party but they had defied the party on what they claimed wrong choices of the candidates by the party bosses assigned with the task.

Sources said that the Prime Minister has directed the Punjab chapter of the party not to take any disciplinary action against the local bodies’ candidates who had defied the party decision and contested elections against the party’s ticketholders. However, those at the helms of affairs and who had used their personal liking and disliking in awarding the party tickets would definitely be taken to task by the party leadership, the sources added.

Sources said that all the independent candidates belonging to the party would be taken back in the party while the district chapter of the party has already been conveyed the decision.

It was found that the defiance was not only at the level of those contesting these elections but senior party leaders were also involved in such tussles and on many places sitting MNA or MPA of the PML-N were seen supporting independent candidates, a senior party leader from central Punjab said.

Referring to the tussle between former MNA and father of sitting State Minister for Water and Power Ch Sher Ali with incumbent Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in Faisalabad, a central party leader said that despite efforts by the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif the row between the two could not be settled.

Taking notice of these serious discipline lapses Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to evolve a mechanism of awarding party tickets to candidates in Local Bodies’ elections and discouraged the practice of leaving some seats or district open.

Sources further said that a disciplinary committee would also be formed to examine the breach of party discipline on part of the sitting parliamentarians of the party who had supported independent candidates.

Sources further informed The Nation that party leadership would mark all such MPs and would not consider them for coveted slots like their induction in the Federal Cabinet.

Sources in the party said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also discussed the reorganisation of the party at grass-root level soon after the completion of the local bodies’ elections in Punjab and Sindh.

Commenting on the outcome of first phase of local bodies elections in Punjab a party MNA admitted that tickets were not purely awarded on merit.

He further said that due to this mass scale defiance and breach of party discipline in the Local Bodies elections ruling PML-N had suffered a dent of around 100 seats which could have been saved.

Meanwhile correcting the matter seems to be an uphill task for the party, as the Election Commission has already finalised the candidates for the next two phases.