AWAD R AWAN
LAHORE - A group of PTI senior leaders has suggested to the party chairman to review his decree concerning resignations of its MPAs from the Punjab Assembly to utilise their strength for the upcoming Senate polls, The Nation has learnt.
The party insiders, privy to the developments, told this correspondent on Saturday that senior party leaders from the Punjab have advised the chairman that the PTI members should withdraw their resignations from the provincial assembly to have their strength intact for the upcoming Senate polls.
They quoted the senior party leaders as saying that PTI has 30 seats in the Punjab Assembly and it could grab one Senate seat from this province if it makes efforts to get the support of JI, independent candidates and other likeminded members from the opposition.
The party can field a joint candidate of the opposition to get one Senate seat if consensus is not developed on a PTI contender.
The insiders, quoting the top leaders, further said Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry and City President Aleem Khan could be the PTI candidates if the party decides to contest the Senate election from the Punjab. Both the party presidents are likely to be the candidates of two groups of the party.
A top old guard of the party said, “I fail to understand the logic that we will contest the Senate polls from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and leave Punjab’s strength to go to drain. We should follow the rules of practical politics and withdraw resignations.”
He remarked: “The party chairman has been advised by the sane party leaders to adopt some flexibility while practicing the art of politics as mere sloganeering and issuing decrees can cause political losses to the party.
Asad Umer, PTI senior leader and Imran Khan’s close aide, when contacted, while admitting that there are some party leaders in Punjab who want to run for the Senate polls, said they could get one seat of the upper house with the support of likeminded parties in the Punjab Assembly provided the party high command decides to contest the Senate polls from the Punjab.
At the same time, he said, “To make efforts for one seat of the Senate from the Punjab with the support of likeminded parties is my personal idea and has nothing to do with the party’s policy line.”
He added, “As per the party policy, we will contest the Senate polls only from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the leadership and supporters believe the general elections in the Punjab were largely rigged and PTI was deprived of its real share.” He said they would go for the Senate polls only after getting its real share through accountability of a judicial commission.
He also endorsed the information of this scribe that there was a difference of opinion over the issue of resignations in the party and a group of leaders seeks review of the matter of resignations.