SIALKOT - The growing differences of the local PTI leaders over the award of party tickets to those recently defected to PTI from other parties instead of diehard party workers are weakening the party ahead of the July 25 general elections.

The local PTI leaders, after being failed in getting party tickets, are still focusing on contesting the polls as independent candidates against the PTI candidates in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.

Due to these unavoidable circumstances, the local PTI workers, voters and supporters are also confused. In Sialkot, the political differences have been cropped up between the PTI’s two main groups namely Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Group and Umer Dar Group over the issue of allotment and cancellation of the party tickets to candidates.

The PTI top leadership awarded party tickets to two candidates Mian Abid Javaid and Ch Tahir Mehmood Hundali in neighbouring constituencies of PP 35 and PP 36. These two candidates belonged to PTI’s Umer Dar Group.

PTI’s candidate in NA 72 Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan wanted to get these two candidates replaced with the candidates of her own choice in these constituencies by bringing Dilawar Bag and Saeed Ahmed Bhalli as PTI candidates.

The situation has already created the political rift between the two groups as Dr Firdous Ashiq and Umer Dar are struggling for their candidates to be awarded with the PTI tickets.

In bordering village Bera Danot-Zafarwal, an old PTI worker Shaukat Ali has cut his left hand thumb to lodge his strong protest against the award of PTI ticket to dissident Mian Rasheed Ahmed instead of awarding party ticket to a loyal PTI worker. He said that the PTI top leadership did injustice by awarding PTI ticket to Rasheed Ahmed in NA 77. He has recently joined the PTI after flying from the camps of the PML-N. Injured Shaukat Ali strongly criticised the top PTI leadership that the PTI leadership totally ignored all the political sacrifices of the PTI’s sincere workers while allotting party ticket in Zafarwal.

Meanwhile, the PML-N is taking the full political advantage of the internal differences among the PTI leaders and their workers in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.

During the situation, the PML-N has fielded their strong candidates against the PTI’s candidates in all the five constituencies of the National Assembly in Sialkot district.

PTI top leadership still remains unable to tackle the situation.

In Pasrur, the PTI top leadership awarded party ticket to a Narowal based candidate Barrister Mansur Sarwar Khan in NA 74 by totally ignoring the local potential candidates including Gen (r) Noor Hussain,  former Olympian-cum-politician Asif Bajwa, Ch Ghulam Abbas and Col (r) Rana Sarfraz Nawaz.

PML-N has fielded Ali Zahid, the son of former federal law minister Zahid Hamid, as its candidate in the constituency.

Now, angry PTI leaders have submitted their nomination papers for contesting polls as independent candidates. PTI leader Chaudhary Ameer Hussain, former speaker National Assembly, has also submitted his nomination papers to contest general elections in NA-72 where the PTI top leadership has already fielded Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as its potential candidate.