PMLN torn between PTI dissidents, former ticket holders

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) de-seated members of the assembly have started efforts to get PMLN tickets while the party’s former ticket holders are also trying to get tickets for the same constituencies of the provincial metropolis.

By-polls on 20 seats of the provincial assembly are scheduled to take place on July 17, after 20 members of the PTI were de-seated. In the provincial metropolis, four PTI members were de-seated, which included former senior provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan, who according to sources, will not contest by-polls and may nominate Shoaib Siddiqui from PP-158, while Rana Ahsan Sharafat of the PMLN, who lost from the constituency, wants to get a ticket again through senior PMLN leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Party sources said the PMLN had promised to award tickets to those who have been de-seated in by-elections but now the party leadership is under immense pressure from its own local leadership and former party ticket holders.

Sources said the PMLN may give a ticket to Malik Asad Khokhar from PP-168. This seat was left by Khwaja Saad Rafique after being elected as a Member of the National Assembly. At that time Malik Asad Khokhar of the PTI had won the by-election and defeated PMLN’s Rana Khalid Qadri.

Sources said the PMLN has decided to award a ticket to Asad Khokhar but Rana Khalid was also an aspirant for the same seat and in case the party gives the ticket to Asad Khokhar, Rana Khalid and his group may not support him.

From PP-167, PTI’s Nazir Chauhan was elected as MPA after defeating PMLN’s Mian Saleem and now he also wanted to get a PMLN ticket for the constituency while the former ticket holder, Mian Saleem, is also trying to get the party ticket again.

Malik Asad Khokhar of the PTI had defeated Rana Khalid Qadri of the PMLN in the by-election after leaving the seat of PP-168 after being elected as a Member of National Assembly by Khawaja Saad Rafique.

Now only Asad Khokhar is here. According to party sources, Rana Khalid Qadri is also in touch with the leadership for a ticketIn PP-170, Chaudhry Amin of the PTI had defeated Mian Imran Javed of the PMLN.

Chaudry Amin is the brother of Aoun Chaudhry who is the adviser to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on youth affairs. On the other hand, PMLN’s former candidate Mian Imran Javed is also not ready to leave the field and he has started lobbying to get a party ticket.

The scribe tried to contact PMLN’s official spokesperson Atta Tarar but he didn’t respond. The scribe also tried to contact party’s senior leader Awais Leghari and also left a message but he didn’t call back.

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