LAHORE - The Unification Bloc, a group of PML-Q deserters, has no political status after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly till the time they are taken into the wings of the PML-N by getting tickets in the general elections from Raiwind.

The Unification-Bloc, founded by Mian Atta Manika in the defunct Punjab Assembly, supported the ruling party of the province during the governor’s rule and in recognition of their services, the PML-N promised to award them tickets in the general polls.

However, a group of Unification-Bloc members Wednesday, informing this correspondent of their status after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly, said, “We are standing on a borderline, the PML-N is on the right side of this line, which had promised to give us tickets for the general elections while PTI is on the left side of the line as it will be the only option for those who fail to get tickets from Raiwind.” Elaborating their status further, they said, “Technically, the Unification-Bloc has no political status after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly as we are neither with PML-Q nor are part of PML-N at the moment.”

Another group of the Unification-Bloc members, taking a different line about their status after the dissolution of the provincial assembly, remarked, “It is no more a bloc, rather it is a group of individuals who will make individual efforts to get the PML-N tickets.”

However, this group also supports the notion that PTI seems to be their only option if they fail to get PML-N tickets for the general polls. They claimed, “Dr Tahir Ali Javed, former parliamentary leader of the bloc in the provincial assembly, damaged the group the most, while some others forming their small-interest groups within the bloc made independent deals with the former provincial government.

Resultantly, the bloc ceased to exist and became a group of several interest groups and individuals who made deals suiting their interests.” The same group said all the Unification Bloc members might not get the PML-N tickets owing to some members’ current political position in their constituencies, adding Dr Tahir Ali Javed could be one of those not getting a PML-N ticket for the next polls.

Dr Tahir resigned from the Punjab Assembly membership over the issue of dual nationality while PML-N awarded ticket to his father, Dr Naimat Ali Javed, in the recently held by-polls from PP-133, Narowal, but he lost. Mian Atta Manika, when contacted, said, “The members of the Unification Bloc, have become independent today, but they will have no political status, until they officially become part of PML-N, by resigning from the basic membership of PML-Q.”

Manika, commenting on the local political compulsions for the U-Bloc members, maintained, “The local political compulsions press the Bloc members to stand by the PML-N as the tide of the former provincial ruling party is growing with each passing day. However, I can say assuredly that the bloc members who might not get PML-N tickets will go for the PTI as the only option.” Manika said, “Politics is a very callous profession which is governed by the doctrine of necessity and he who is no longer a necessity has unfortunately no place in the cruel business of practical politics.”

Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, senior PML-N leader, when contacted, insisted, “We will accommodate all the Unification Bloc members in the general elections.” Commenting upon the response of the PML-N local leadership and runners up in the bloc members’ constituencies, he said the decision to award tickets to the U-Bloc members was made with the consultation of the party runners up and local leaders in the U-Bloc members’ constituencies.