Award of tickets a difficult task for PML-N
PESHAWAR, March 2: The aspiring Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidates have linked themselves to different party leaders in the hope of getting tickets for the coming national and provincial assembly elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
However, the party leadership, according to insiders, has its own priorities, which may let down many.
In the beginning, the people thought the party would face rift on the issue of tickets as Amir Muqam will demand a big share in the tickets.
However, things look different, especially in light of Mr Muqam’s denial of any differences in the party on the matter.
The workers at lower level say that besides Mr Muqam, central general secretary Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Pir Sabir Shah, too, have their own groups and everyone is trying to be dominant every time.
A provincial leader of PML-N, pleading anonymity, told Dawn that the award of tickets was a complicated issue for the party like that of nomination of the office-bearers because everyone wished to get prominent seats in the party. And that was why some 30 or above vice and senior vice presidents were appointed at the provincial level besides on rest of the offices.
Though the leadership is trying to remove the impression of old and new workers by assuring them that all of them have equal status, the factual position will come into sight on eve of the elections where many may say goodbye to the party.
“I served the party when Mian Nawaz Sharif was in exile and no one could dare to hold protest rally or speak against then military dictator Pervez Musharraf,” a provincial vice president said, adding that he had also submitted application for a ticket of provincial assembly but it was unclear if he would get the opportunity or not.
In the past, he said the provincial level office-bearers had a say in policymaking process and the central leadership used to give them some weight in the meetings but now only a few top level leaders were called and most often individually.
He said that this time every group was in the run to get more tickets to become chief minister, saying for the purpose, the formula was very simple because every leader will have to show number of MPAs.
Besides, he said the delay in nomination of the candidates has also caused a confusion where many of the party have launched election campaigns in same constituencies and started leg pulling of each others. He said if the party did not make it clear, then the official might face their own party’s workers as independent candidates.
However, provincial PML-N president Pir Sabir Shah has warned all those posing themselves as candidates to avoid doing so because the party had so far not named anyone as candidate.
He said those issuing statements to media by posing as candidates were violating the party’s discipline as only the parliamentary board had the authority to issue tickets or reject an application in this regard.
PML-N provincial general secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak when contacted said there was no group in the party and everyone wished the party successful in the next general elections.
“Parliamentary board will award tickets only on basis of merit and ground realities,” he claimed and added that every top leader knew about the position of an aspirant candidate and getting of ticket was a lengthy process.
He said his party had a target of 30 to 40 provincial assembly seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 12 of the national assembly. He said the matters of seat to seat adjustment would be finalised as the schedule was announced by the Election Commission. The last date for submission of applications was March 5 and till now, around 700 forms were issued to applicants in the province.
Mr Muqam was not available for comments for being on a foreign trip.