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Monday June 17, 2024

PML-N to announce Punjab leadership before 20th

By Moayyed Jafri
May 07, 2018

LAHORE: The PML-N is likely to announce its Punjab leadership and complete the first round of short-listing for Punjab contenders in the 2018 elections before May 20, The News has learnt.

With the uncertainty regarding the result of the cases against the party Quaid looming with many fearing the worse by the end of the third week of the running month, the PML-N is working overtime to get the party administrative hierarchy in order to avoid disorder among the party ranks. The party leadership has been engaging and holding meetings of every division for the past two weeks.

For the post of Punjab presidency, there have been multiple options under discussion, not just regarding the individuals but also the nomenclature of party hierarchy in the wake of the recent ‘Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz’. There had been three major formulas under consideration for the past two weeks in the meetings of party’s top brass regarding this decision. The first one was the traditional approach of appointing one single president of PML-N Punjab, the second one was to diversify the Punjab portfolio into four zones and appoint a president for all four, while the third one was to bifurcate the administrative responsibilities between vis-à-vis president north and president south.

Sources privy to the developments shared that the option if diversification into four administrative positions was an attractive one as it would help the party to accommodate four party leaders, which would minimise the displeasure but would invigorate a fresh wave in these four zones. However, the premise of division was a tricky preposition which is why this option is least likely to be adopted.

While the traditional approach of a singular president would be a simpler and safer option as when it comes to cohesion. However, post-JPSM’s formation and agenda setting the PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif had taken the stance that PML-N was the only party which got the resolution approved from the parliament and thus the PML-N was the biggest advocate for southern Punjab province.

It was therefore discussed that if the PML-N would not exhibit its resolve for this cause through its party administration division, it would send out wrong message and might cost the party votes. Therefore, it is likely that the PML-N would appoint a president each for North and South Punjab.

Interestingly contrary to popular belief, the PML-N’s Hamza and Maryam do not appear to be in the game for this position. According to sources, the front-runners include Railways Minister Kh Saad Rafique, Defence Production Minister Rana Tanvir, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Punjab Minister for Labour & Human Resources Raja Ashfaq Sarwar.

In case of the proposition of South and North Punjab presidents materialising, the names in the run could be Awais and Jamal Leghari and Ch Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar from Rahim Yar Khan could be important.  

Meanwhile, a six member-committee had been formed to assist the PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in the scrutiny process of ticket aspirants from Punjab for the 2018 general elections. Malik Nadeem Kamran and Manshaullah Butt among others are part of that committee. Sources said the initial narrowing down of the aspirants will be completed by the end of the running week. When contacted, PML-N Lahore president and Commerce and Textile Minister Pervez Malik said the party leadership has been working on these matters and it is likely that they would be settled by the end of this month.