LAHORE – The rivalry between two PTI groups has reached a point of ‘no-return’ on Thursday as Umer Sarfraz Cheema on polling day moved the party’s election commission to declare presidential candidate Javed Hashmi as ineligible over Mehran Bank scam.

The party leaders said that Umer Sarfraz Cheema who was running for party’s central president office is backed by the Unity Group while Javed Hashmi enjoys the support of the Ideological Group.

The PTI election commission sources told this correspondent that the election authorities keeping in view the timing of the objection petition rejected it, while party leadership might take disciplinary action against Cheema for allegedly leaking the petition details to media.  The sources informed that Cheema had taken the plea that Hashmi was allegedly involved in Mehran Bank scam and could not run for any party office, while the second plea was that he bears poor physical and mental health and was not fit for holding any party office.

They added that the Munaza Hassan, who contested party polls for PTI central president (women wing) filed an objection petition against Fauzia Kasuri declaring her ineligible to run for the women wing president due to her dual nationality but Munaza filed the petition on the last day of filing of nomination papers.

Therefore, the election commission suspected mischief in the objection petition of Cheema and keeping in view its timing rejected his plea to bar Hashmi from party polls.

Meanwhile, close aides of Umer Cheema alleging the party’s election commission for supporting the Ideological group claimed that they would move to the court if Hashmi was not disqualified on the basis of Cheema’s plea.  They maintained that election commission could not set aside their plea without a proper inquiry, while there was no issue of the timing as any party member candidate running for the party office can file an objection petition at anytime, which may be the polling day.

Ijaz Chaudhary, PTI president Punjab commenting over the issue said, “It brought a bad taste on the polling day held for the PTI final chapter intra-party polls”.

He said, “The issue should not reach the media till a decision by the election commission and disciplinary action can be initiated against Umer Cheema if he released the news to the newsmen”.