LG polls final phase
SIALKOT: After winning the recent local government elections, the PML-N district leadership has sought applications, along with huge and non-refundable amounts as fee, from all those who wanted to contest the slots of chairmen, vice-chairmen and mayors of district council, municipal corporation and town committees.
Applications have also been sought for the seats reserved for women, youth, labours/ farmers and minorities in the next and final phase of LG elections.
The candidates for the slots of chairmen of district councils and mayors of municipal corporations would have to pay Rs200,000 as fee in order to win the party ticket. Similarly, the fee fixed for the slots of vice-chairmen district council, deputy mayor municipal corporation and chairmen town committees is Rs100,000, whereas the candidates for the seats of vice-chairmen of the town committees would deposit Rs50,000.
Candidates for special seats of district council and municipal corporation would pay Rs15,000, while for the special seats of town committees will pay Rs5,000. In the near past, hundreds of candidates for slots of union council chairmen/ vice-chairmen and councillors had deposited millions of rupees. However, the LG elections were postponed, but the deposited money had not been returned to them, neither by the PML-N nor by the Election Commission.
A number of PML-N candidates, upon condition of anonymity, and common citizen expressed grave concern over the huge amounts, fixed for getting the party tickets. They termed it an injustice with the candidates who have little financial resources. They said the fee for party ticket should be reduced in order to help enable those who have little financial resources but have high spirits to serve the people at grass-roots level. They said in the current circumstances, only the rich could get the party ticket, which was against the spirit of the local governments system.
Talking to The News on Thursday, PML-N district president Ch Idrees Ahmed Bajwa said the fee to get the party ticket for any kind of election was a matter to be decided by the top party leadership. He said most of the candidates wishing to contest elections for the slots of chairmen/vice-chairmen of the district council or town committees and mayor/deputy mayor could afford a heavy fee; however, those who could not afford to pay the fee could mention in their applications that they were unable to pay the fee. He said the applications of all such candidates would also be considered. He said every party member had the right to contest any elections.