SIALKOT -  Various PTI leaders after being failed in getting the party tickets have established their separate groups as a protest against the “unfair” distribution of tickets in the five National Assembly and 11 Punjab Assembly constituencies of Sialkot.

They asked the PTI top leadership to review its decision and award tickets to sincere, loyal and potential candidates, not to those who defected from other parties to PTI. They said that the “wrong” distribution of tickets was weakening the pre-polls political position of PTI in Sialkot district. They said the PTI had split into several groups in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.

The anguished PTI leaders have established their political groups in the PTI and announced to contest the 2018 general elections as independent candidates against the PTI. The party tickets distribution has raised the differences among the local leadership of PTI resulting in the formation of factions. Political differences were cropping up day by day due to the alleged unfair award of the party tickets. They said that the PTI leadership has totally ignored the sincere and loyal workers while awarding party tickets.

On the other hand, the PTI top leadership remains unable to finalise the name of a candidate in NA-75, Sialkot-IV Daska.

After being successful in getting her PTI’s ticket in NA-72, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan wanted to bring the suitable candidates of her panel as PTI candidates by replacing Dilawar Baig and Saeed Ahmed Bhalli with Mian Abid Javaid and Tahir Mehmood Hundali in PP-35 and PP-36.

For the major replacement, Dr Firdous met with PTI Chairman Imran Khan at Banigala, Islamabad and raised her apprehensions. She demanded early replacement of the candidates in these constituencies of the Punjab Assembly. She said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan has assured her about the replacement.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Ch Tahir Mehmood Hundali said that the PTI top leadership had awarded him party ticket in PP-36. Talking to the newsmen, he said that PTI’s Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan was trying to replace his party ticket with Saeed Ahmed Bhalli. He alleged that she was selling party tickets after getting big amounts from the aspirants. He said that he would contest the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate against the PTI candidate if the party awards ticket to any other person.

The PTI top leadership is also facing strong criticism on social media by the people of Sialkot and even by the local PTI workers for ignoring the local PTI leader Umer Farooq Mayer, one of the pioneers of PTI in Sialkot.

PTI awarded ticket to Ch Ikhlaq, the former PML-N MPA, in constituency PP-38 by ignoring Farooq Mayer.

Ch Ikhlaq recently joined PTI after being ignored by the local PML-N leadership. He was elected as MPA from the constituency in Musharraf regime as PML-N candidate, but later he resigned due to his dual nationality.

The disgruntled workers said the PTI leadership had totally ignored the “life-long” services of Umer Farooq Mayer for PTI.

In 2013 general elections, the PML-N’s candidate Ch. Muhammad Ikram had won from PP-122 which is now PP 38. He got 43,167 votes by defeating his very close rival PTI’s Umer Farooq Mayer who got 38,283 votes in 2013 general elections.

Addressing a press conference, the PTI leaders Nasir Mehmood Cheema, Saeed Sarwar Baryar, Idrees Ahmed Cheema, Fiaz Iqbal Cheema, Usman Javaid Ghuman, Hafiz Shehbaz Hassan, Hassan Sarfraz Cheema, Iftikhar Ahmed Sahi (Daska), Salman Saif Cheema, Ch. Shehbaz Gujjar, Shehbaz Sidhu, Ch. Abid Ghuman and Syed Faisal Shah rejected the distribution of party tickets to non-popular candidates.

They announced to form their own main groups within the PTI in Daska and Sambrial tehsils here. They also announced to contest the 2018 general elections as independent candidates against the PTI in Daska and Sambrial tehsils.

In Sambrial, PTI has brought Brig (r) Aslam Ghuman as its candidate in NA-76 and his younger brother Muhammad Azeem Noori Ghuman in PP-44.

PTI leader Asif Bajwa, the Pasrur based former Olympian-turned-politician, has also announced to contest 2018 general elections in NA-74 against the PTI candidate Mansur Sarwar Khan.