Wednesday June 12, 2024

Parties woo their rebelling candidates

By Ahmad Hassan
June 29, 2018

Islamabad : As the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers June 29 is approaching near, various political parties have doubled their efforts to win back their disenchanted aspirants deprived of party tickets and filed their nomination papers as independent candidates to withdraw their papers so that the ticket holders position get stronger.

On top of all the PTI, which has fielded the most candidates in the run up to general polls, is facing tough situation with largest number of party candidates filing nomination papers as independents followed by the N- League and then PPPP. The PTI has been struggling ever since start of election process to accommodate maximum number of its aspiring members who could not get first priority in allotment of tickets but still its beset by the problem which seems to be getting out of its control failing to woo most of disgruntled party men.

An insider told the News that if the PTI failed to get majority seats in the National Assembly, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it will only due to its internal feuds and groupings. The party, which claimed to be a party of change before electoral process started, has been blamed for allotment of around 50 per cent tickets to the turncoats of other parties, especially PPP and the PML-N.

The PTI chairman, in an interview to a private channel, confessed the other day that the N-League is ahead of the PTI in Punjab so far claiming that things would become better for the party as the election process progresses. The ground situation thus becomes even grimmer for the party if its rebellious candidates refuse to withdraw their papers on the appointed date. Imran Khan by acceding to the grouping within the party one led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other by the disqualified politician Jahangir Tareen has clearly admitted his inability to prevail upon his deputies to end their acrimony and shun differences on fielding of candidates on crucial seats.

The PTI chairman claimed to have overcome the weaknesses which cost his party 2013 polls, but the ground realities still belie his claim and change of merit to win most of seats from staunch party workers to the electable newcomers has made real difference. To achieve the goal Imran Khan has to persuade his party old guards first to shun their personal enmities and convince the disgruntled ones to withdraw their nomination papers.

The PML-N, on the other hand, looks to getting sympathy vote after partial acceptance of Nawaz Sharif’s narrative of “vote ko izat do” and “why was he ousted on account of Iqama rather than Panama. However, the brewing issues of loadshedding and scarcity of water would also effect its vote bank as people from Karachi to Khyber were crying and condemning the outgoing party doing little or nothing to make both commodities available to them.