LAHORE - The factions within Faisalabad chapter of the PML-N have agreed to accept the nominees of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the slot of Mayor and Deputy Mayors of Faislabad Municipal Corporation.

Before the first phase of Local Government elections in Faisalabad district on October 31, rifts developed in the district leadership, which was mainly represented by former MNA and close relative of the Sharifs and father of State Minister Abid Sher Ali, Ch Sher Ali, and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan.

Sher Ali and Rana Sana, who also publicly undermined each other’s position during the LB campaign, ran their own groups of the PML-N supporters in Faisalabad. Claiming their political might, they fielded independent candidates against one another on their respective election symbol instead of the party.

Sher Ali, who also held mayorship of Faisalabad in three phases between 1983 to 1992, was willing to get the top slot of the district in the upcoming LB set up his son Ch Amir Sher Ali.

Rana Sanaullah Khan, a confidant of CM Shahbaz Sharif, opposed Sher and wanted his man at the top seat for his previous services for the party in last general elections.

After the LB polls concluded, Amir Sher lost election to Ashiq Rehmani, the candidate fielded by Rana Sanaullah while Rana’s favourite candidate for the top slot, Malik Riaz (younger brother of MPA Malik Nawaz) lost the polls to Sher Ali’s candidate Malik Sajid Sohail.

However Malik Razzaq, another brother of Malik Nawaz won the election from Rana Sana’s group and he is optimistic to wear the crown.

Sources say that both the leaders are keeping quiet over pushing the names for the mayor seat of Faisalabad and have agreed to accept whomever Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif chooses.

For the selection of six deputy mayors of the district, according to the sources, both leaders can pinpoint their candidates yet the CM will hold the final say.

The process to finalise names for the persons on top slots would commence after the Election Commission notified the winners.

Meanwhile, Party central leader Hamza Shahbaz Sharif interviewed the aspirants for the main positions in the Faisalabad district of the local government set up. Sources say a total of 51 have applied - 11 for Mayorship and 40 for Deputy Mayorship.

Sources say Hamza Shahbaz will shortlist the candidates and put rest of the names before the CM for picking up the final ones.

Hamza who was appointed to supervise the local bodies elections in Punjab, is interviewing aspirants from all 36 districts of the province. Previously he had interviewed the elected representatives of the party from Nankana Sahib, Pakpattan, Kasur and Vehari, and yesterday it was the turn for Faisalabad. Lahore candidates will be interviewed in the last.