LAHORE – The PML-Q leadership on Tuesday, politely refusing an audience with the PPP leaders for seat-adjustment discussions, decided to go for the general elections without PPP, The Nation has learnt.

The PML-Q, which desires complete authority to decide the electoral fate of some districts of North Punjab and a few constituencies, decided to contest the general polls without PPP as it got no positive response despite assurances from its high command that the electable candidates of its former coalition partner would not be stolen.

The PML-Q has issued more than 95 tickets for the National Assembly and 150 tickets for the Punjab Assembly during the three-day exercise in the most important political province till Tuesday. Sources in PML-Q privy to the developments regarding closing the door of seat adjustment with PPP told this correspondent that the party leadership after thorough deliberations, had decided to disassociate themselves from PPP.

The party leadership was of the view that PML-Q had received more response for the party tickets than they were expecting while some of the former parliamentarians who cancelled their plan to join PPP gave the party a new strength. Earlier, PML-Q was expecting only 30 to 40 applicants for the National Assembly and around 50 for the Punjab Assembly.

The overburdened PML-N and unpopular PPP compelled many PML-Q leaders who could not join the PTI owing to their local political compulsions to make peace with their old masters in the PML-Q. The sources, however, claimed that a top party leader still desires to remain the door of seat adjustment open with PPP in the constituencies where PML-Q has no potential candidate. They added PML-Q could support the PTI and JI candidates in the constituencies it had not fielded any candidate to defeat its arch rival, the PML-N.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha, when contacted about the fate of political partnership with the PPP, said, “We have awarded tickets to more than 87 candidates of the National Assembly in Punjab and around 137 for the Punjab Assembly and will make no changes in the tickets already given. More tickets are being awarded in a day or two.” Another senior PML-Q leader said, “No use of seat adjustment with PPP as it has lost popularity in the Punjab and is facing serious difficulties in finding candidates in the province.”

PML-Q, after sending a final warning to the PPP leadership during a meeting at the governor’s house some days back, had directed its party leaders to be ready to contest the elections without PPP. The high command of the PML-Q had asked the provincial leadership to convey their directions to district and tehsil leaders to prepare for the general polls without any electoral arrangement with PPP, besides contacting likeminded parties and influential groups with a view to fielding joint candidates.

The last meeting of PML-Q and PPP at the governor’s house did not discuss the seat adjustment, but it started with the PML-Q complaints against PPP’s move to steal the PML-Q electables and concluded after their unsatisfactory clarifications. 

The PML-Q leadership is not ready to trust PPP, saying the presidency had already made several promises to stop ‘covert activities’ of its leaders from stealing the mandate of their coalition partner.