RAHIM YAR KHAN - There are severe differences and infighting among the candidates of two major political parties - the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) over the award of party tickets in some constituencies of district.
Although the PML-N, PPPP and PTI has not finalised their candidates but many of the aspirants are confident of the party tickets.
The PPPP has decided to award ticket for PP-293 to its District President Engineer Javed Akbar Dhiloon who had been elected MPA twice in the past from the constituency that covers most areas of the RY Khan city. However, another group led by PPPP South Punjab secretary (Public Relations) Ch Jahanzeb Gull who also filed nomination papers has started his campaign as an independent candidate from the constituency while a member of his group Azeem Solangi has also announced contesting elections from PP-293 as independent candidate.
Similarly, the party has decided awarding ticket for PP-294 to the two times winner Javed Hasan Gujjar but another PPPP City chapter office-bearer Sher Muhammad Channa has also announced contesting elections from the constituency in sheer violation of the party discipline. It is to be noted that PPPP Central Leader Syed Khurshid Ali Shah, while addressing party workers at the residence of Javed Dhaloon some back, emphasised the need for shunning petty differences and following the party discipline.
He had also warned to expel the workers found in violation of the party line but how much the workers care for the order, is clearly evident from the differences among the candidates who are in the race of elections.
Similarly, the rank and file of the PPPP Sadiqabad Tehsil chapter is also annoyed at the party decision of awarding ticket to Rana Muhammad Tariq who switched to the PPPP from the PML-F in the wake of Punjab Governor Syed Ahmed Mehmood’s joining of the party.
Former MNA from NA-192 Hamid Saeed Kazmi was also angry over the issuance of the party ticket to Qutab Farid Koreja but sources said that the party leadership had allayed Kazmi’s concern by announcing that he would be inducted as s senator of the party.
On the other hand, the PML-N is also facing division in PP-293 and PP-294 constituencies. Senior PML-N district leaders including Asif Majeed and Ch Shafiq Chanab have also announced contesting the elections from these constituencies respectively as independent candidates and have even kicked off their campaign. Rumours were also ripe about their joining of the PTI but now they have decided to contest as independent candidate.
They are of the view that they made the decision following the PML-N Senator Ch Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar’s shaking of hands with Mian Imtiaz, the party’s expected candidate for NA-196 after 14 years of rivalry, only to muster support for his son Ummar Jaffar.
Gujjar got the party ticket of PP-293 for his son Ummar Jaffar which annoyed not only the old and sincere workers of the PML-N but some old leaders as well.
Former ticket-holder from PP-293 Ch Abdul Rauf who filed his nomination papers only to contest election against Ummar Jaffar, now decided withdrawal from the election race.
But on the other hand, he convened a group meeting of the PML-N leaders from union council 35-F which has almost 20,000 registered voters. During the meeting they decided unanimously to vote for Mian Imtiaz in NA-196 but will not support the senator’s son Ummar Jaffar.
Meanwhile, sources said that PML-N UC 35-F leaders also approached Jamaat-e-Islami candidate for PP-293 Dr Anwaarul Haq and offered their support in elections in turn for his support for Mian Imtiaz in NA-196 but Dr Anwaar politely refused to his party’s discipline.
The local political circles are of the opinion that though the PML-N workers will vote for Mian Imtiaz, they were not willing to caste vote for Ummar Jaffar as they considered him “imported candidate” who was a new comer in the political arena. On the other hand, the PTI has been indecisive about its candidates so far except some candidates. Mian Ghous in NA-193 and Rafiq Haider Leghari in NA- 197 and Ch Sabir for PP-290 are almost final candidates of the party. The Jamaat-e-Islami, the JUI-F, JUP, PML-F and MQM have already finalised their candidates in the district.