Despite workers’ unrest over the PML-N’s decision to award tickets to some ‘loyalists’ from amongst the former Unification Bloc, the PML-N top leadership has decided to stand by its commitment given to ex-MPs who defected from PML-Q to align with the Nawaz League. The News has learnt on good authority that in order to maintain balance and accommodate both the former PML-Q defectors as well as the PML-N ticket aspirants, it has been decided to award 40 tickets to the Unification Bloc (UB) members that amounts to almost half of the original strength of these ‘turncoats’.
However, both the old guard and new entrants in the field who have applied for PML-N tickets have raised objections to this decision of the party leadership, the demonstration of which was evident on Friday at the PML-N Secretariat in H Block, Model Town, Lahore when the name of Shaukat Aziz Bhatti of Unification Block was announced as one of the candidates from Rawalpindi Division. Most of the people present on the occasion gave full vent to their feelings in the presence of Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Ch Nisar Ali Khan and Raja Zafarul Haq.
Some of these parliamentarians-in-the-making gave the example of veteran MP Ch Riaz who had been elected eight times on provincial assembly and national assembly seats, collectively, whose weightage, according to the sources, was being compared with a political aspirant from Unification Bloc.
Those Muslim Leaguers who did not hesitate to call themselves ‘Muslim Leaguers by birth’ in front of Mian Shahbaz Sharif, labelled former UB members as friends of dictator Musharraf although the Unification Bloc leaders like Dr Tahir Ali Javed denounce such labels and epithets and declare themselves as politically mature people who are sincere and committed to public service for which they chose the PML-N platform after having realised that the PML-N leadership was serious in delivering to the masses.
When The News contacted the PML-N leader and party spokesman Pervaiz Rashid for his version, he stated: “We are in the process so will be able to answer your questions after finishing our work”(sic).