ISLAMABAD - After the crushing defeat of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) and Pakistan People’s Party joint candidates in the recently held by-polls on both national and provincial assemblies seats in Punjab at the hands of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) candidates, the two coalition partners are back to business to revisit their strategy for the upcoming general elections.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed TheNation that after the failure of PPP-PML-Q joint candidates to make any impression in by-polls, the PPP leadership once again started pressing for their earlier demand to their junior coalition partner PML-Q that both the parties would contest the upcoming general elections on the symbol of ‘arrow’ instead of contesting elections on separate election symbols and just enter into seat-adjustment in Punjab and elsewhere.

Sources in the PPP confirmed that once again their leadership has started pressing PML-Q leadership to contest next general elections with the same election symbol - arrow - and in this connection a team of PPP leaders under the headship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would be meeting Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ch Pervez Elahi to convince them on the matter. Sources further said that PPP Co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari wanted an election alliance on the pattern of Islami Jahmoori Ittehad or Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) wherein a group of likeminded parties had contested elections from these platforms with same election symbol. But when this idea was discussed with Chaudhrys from Gujrat a couple of months back they had rejected the idea and insisted that PML-Q candidates would contest upcoming general elections with bicycle as their election symbol.

But now the by-elections’ results had rung alarm bells in the power echelons and compelled the power players in the ruling alliance to revisit their strategy for the upcoming general elections and to recheck the performance of those leading the election campaign of the parties in the province.

Sources said that now once again the poor performance of joint candidates of PML-Q and PPP in the by-polls has provided strong base for the latter to come up with demand of contesting elections from one platform and on one symbol the proposal which was earlier rejected by the PML-Q leadership. Sources in PPP said that some old party vanguards had come up with bitter criticism on the working pattern of newly appointed PPP Central Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo and demanded of the party leadership to review its decision as majority of party loyalists were not comfortable with the new party bosses in Punjab.

Similarly, the PML-Q leadership was also not comfortable with Mian Manzoor Wattoo in the driving seat and wanted some commanding role in the election campaign of ruling alliance particularly in Punjab.

Some of the party insiders said that the rift between Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Cahudhrys from Gujrat was the main reason behind the poor performance of two parties alliance in the by-polls in the province.

Though not completely ruling out negative impact of the Wattoo-Chaudhrys tension on by-polls results political analysts said that PML-N has won from the areas, which are its stronghold and these results could not be taken as the litmus test for the upcoming general elections.