MULTAN: The ruling PML-N has succeeded in getting a strong independent candidate make withdraw in the favour of its candidate in NA-153 by-election. Addressing a news conference here at the residence of MNA Syed Javed Ali Shah here the other day, the independent candidate Dewan Abbas Bokhari, son of disqualified MNA from the same constituency Dewan Ashiq Bokhari, announced support for Rana Qasim Noon, PML-N candidate in the by-election.

The NA-153 had got vacated because of disqualification of PML-N MNA Dewan Ashiq Bokhari and the party granted ticket to PTI ticket-holder in last election, Rana Qasim Noon instead of Dewan’s son Abbas Bokhari. Irked at the party decision, the Dewans announced contesting the election in independent capacity, but succumbed to government’s pressure. The by-election in the constituency is scheduled for March 17. Talking to the journalists on the occasion, the former MNA Dewan Ashiq Bokhari said that he is a born Leaguer and he has started campaigning for Rana Qasim Noon after receiving telephone call from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. To a query, he said that he had made a commitment in Lahore after meetings with the party leadership that his son would withdraw. “But when I returned, I saw my son had made commitment with the voters of the constituency that he will contest the election,” he added. He said that he could not see the loss of the party and therefore he had decided to withdraw his son from the contest. Speaking on the occasion, Dewan Abbas Bokhari said that the decision made by his elders was the voice from his heart. “Now I’ll go door to door to run the campaign of Rana Qasim Noon,” he added. The PML-N candidate Rana Qasim Noon was of the opinion that the decision strengthened party and not any individual.–Staff Reporter

“This decision is the last nail in PTI’s coffin. Now we’ll win with thumping majority,” he claimed.

MNA Javed Ali Shah, MPA Naghma Mushtaq Laang and local leadership of PML-N were also present on this occasion.