LAHORE Senior political leaders and their close relatives are using their links to influence the police top brass to get their favourites inducted in the Police Department as the recruitment has begun in 13 districts of the Punjab province. Sources in the Punjab Police revealed that right from the Inspector General of Police Punjab (IGP) to the District Police Officers (DPOs) concerned, the top cops were being influenced by the political personalities in this regard. Police sources further revealed that the close relatives of top political leaders from Multan and other districts of South Punjab including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were 'in touch with the police high-ups to get their 'share in the recruitments. Similarly, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah is also on the front line to get his favourites accommodated in Faisalabad district, his native town and electoral constituency. A good number of senior politicians, ministers and their close relatives are being seen roaming around the offices of police high-ups for this purpose, a credible source in the IGP office said, requesting his identity not to be revealed. The Police Department has started recruitments for 2,275 posts of constables in 13 districts of the province including Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Faisalabad, Multan, Khanewal, Chiniot, Lodhran, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha and Gujranwala. More than 50,000 applications have been submitted so far for 2,275 posts of constables and a good number of Masters degree-holders and graduates are among the candidates. The department had advertised the posts a couple of weeks ago and set Matric as basic qualification for the position. According to the official sources, the Police Department has constituted separate three-member recruitment committees comprising a police officer of DIG rank as its head and an SSP and the DPO concerned. These recruitment boards have been directed to ensure merit and eligibility during the recruitment process, a police officer added. Apart from this, the government is also recruiting 711 constables in Punjab Highways Patrolling Police in 13 districts including Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Faisalabad, Multan, Khanewal, Bhakkar, Lodhran, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha and Gujranwala. Officials further said that special recruitment boards had also been constituted to ensure merit and eligibility for induction in the Punjab Highway Patrolling Police. Meanwhile, according to a senior police officer, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has sought record from the Punjab Police regarding the recruitment procedure, numbers of posts and applications, and the members of recruitment boards, constituted to this effect. On Tuesday, the Chief Minister presided over a high-level meeting held to review law and order situation in the province. The issue of recruitments in police was on top of the agenda, maintained a source privy to the development. He also claimed that the CM strictly directed the provincial hierarchy to ensure merit in the recruitment process at all costs. However, time will decide whether the blue-eyed of the top politicians are entertained or the authorities ensure merit to recruit the deserving candidates.