LAHORE – Against the backdrop of the dipping popularity graph of the ruling coalition, the PPP-led govt is shaping up the contours of a caretaker set up, which they plan to put in place in July in a bid to hold early elections in October this year, The Nation has learnt.

Informed political circles privy to the developments regarding the possibilities of the caretaker set up in July told this correspondent on Wednesday that the PPP-led government keeping in view its low popularity graph, was planning early polls in October after presenting a moderate budget.

They maintained that the ruling coalition is expected to make temporary efforts to minimise or bring the loadshedding to zero limit by employing all means available at its disposal to grab maximum votes under a consensus caretaker set up of the likeminded political parties except a few exceptions.

The political circles stated that the ruling partners were also planning to clear the apprehensions of the political parties sitting in the Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies regarding the transparency of the Election Commission, while some of the parties, which boycotted the 2008 polls might not be taken on board in the formation of the caretaker set up.

They ,however, claimed that coalition partners would take on board the Baloch leaders, especially the nationalist leaders who were taking a line against the Federation. Similarly, the nationalist forces of Sindh and religious forces entrenched in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa would also be taken into confidence much before putting in place the new set up.  In the case of Punjab, the PPP had already taken onboard the PML-N for reaching a consensus-based caretaker set up, while PTI was not on the priority list of the ruling coalition over consultations.

Meanwhile, the informed political circles confided to this scribe that election cells in the information gathering agencies of the government have already started their work in a bid to ensure smooth conduct of the early elections.

They stated that the supervising field officers alongwith subordinate staff have been assigned various duties for a drill rehearsal to hold early polls. They maintained that the information gathering agencies would only assist the Election Commission and law-enforcing agencies for providing an early warning to make in advance arrangements to deal with any untoward incident, especially at the polling in the remote areas.