LAHORE – The award of tickets by PML-Q Punjab President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who also happens to be the deputy prime minister, has irked party leaders who feel the same could have been done by following either a set procedure or the recommendations of district leaderships.

PML-Q insiders said on Thursday that the Chaudhrys had decided to award party tickets to election-winning candidates. “PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and their close associates have also decided to provide funds to these candidates in the upcoming general elections,” they informed.

About the recommendations of district leaderships on the issue, they said the PML-Q was in dire need of strong candidates and in this situation, neither the recommendations of the district leaderships nor the set procedure of awarding party tickets would matter anymore.

To bind the remaining party members in the PML-Q band, they added the top leadership had also grabbed development funds equaling the size of the lead coalition party, the PPP, while the party leadership was desperate to get at least half of the seats comparing to its existing strength in the national and Punjab assemblies in the result of upcoming polls.

The PML-Q, which ruled Punjab under the umbrella of Pervez Musharraf, fell like house of cards in the result of 2008 polls and many of its members either became part of Forward Bloc in the Punjab Assembly or Like-Minded Group at the Centre.

While it also faced serious political setback due to the joining of many of its potential contenders to the PTI ranks.

Federal minister Sheikh Waqas Akram maintained that the party chief and members had given the authority to Pervaiz Elahi to award tickets to whosoever he deemed fit as a potential candidate in the polls.