ISLAMABAD - The much-talked intra-party polls of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would face further delay as the party has yet to finalize the mode of election of these polls beside completion of other formalities.

Sources aware of the development informed The Nation that it would not be possible for the election commission of PTI to hold intra-polls before the end of May due to a number of reasons.

PTI’s former secretary general Jehangir Khan Tareen who is leading the Unity Group to contest the intra-party polls while addressing a press conference, some days ago in Lahore had said that the intra-party polls would be held on the foundation day of the party - April 25 - with the completion of membership drive on March 31.

Background interviews with some key PTI leaders indicate that it would not be possible for the PTI’s election commission to hold election in April because the mode of this election has yet to be decided.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has recently turned down a proposal to hold the intra-party polls at union council level throughout the country after succumbing to the pressure of an influential group within the party.

Under a new proposed formula, the intra-party polls would only be held for the slot of President along with his/her four-member council at tehsil, district, regional, provincial and central level.

There is a complete division with the PTI ranks over the mode of intra-party polls as old guards within the party were the proponents of holding polls at the union council level while some influential party leaders close to the Chairman were opposing this proposal.

The influential group wanted only the election of president at district level with the suggestion that president should elect his/her own Cabinet.

The PTI election commission has publicly showed its reservations over delay in the finalization of the mode of election by the four-member committee. The commission in a press release said that the committee was delaying the whole process and the party workers were in a sticky situation over the issue.

The election commission had extended the membership drive of the party till March 31 that had earlier caused delay in the intra-party polls.

Meanwhile, an important meeting of the election commission headed by PTI’s chief election commissioner Tasneem Ahmed Noorani would be held on coming Saturday that would take some important decisions on the preparations for the conduct of party elections. An office bearer of PTI’s Central Secretariat said that the commission had decided to hold training sessions for the conduct of these polls and the process would also take some time.

It would not be possible for the election commission to hold these polls at least before the end of May, said Advocate Furrukh Dall, spokesman of PTI’s Election Commission, while talking to The Nation. “Even if the membership drive would end on March 31, and the election process starts from April 1, then these polls could not be held on the party’s foundation day,” he said and added: “It would be possible for the commission to hold polls at the end of May.”

With the announcement of intra-party polls, two strong groups have emerged within PTI-Unity Group led by Jehangir Khan Tareen as well as Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Ideological Workers Group led by Hamid Khan and Saifullah Khan Nayazee.

Imran Khan for more than once has claimed that PTI was the first political party of the country that had a culture of holding intra-party polls at grass roots level on such a massive scale. However, some senior leaders within PTI have been advising Khan not to hold party elections as previous ones had caused rifts within the party and as a result he had to form a commission headed by Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed to probe the rigging allegations.