ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has awarded almost one-third of its tickets in Punjab to those electable who joined the party during last three months.
Two politicians who are given tickets from Punjab are those who in past were part of the PTI but left it only to rejoin it just days before announcement of the party candidates for 2018 general elections.
Out of total 141 National Assembly constituencies in Punjab, the PTI has so far decided 113 seats. Some 32 (or 29 per cent) of 113 finalised candidates from the province are those who jumped the PTI bandwagon during last three months, from April to June 2018.
Besides these 32 most recent entrants there are another 10 party ticket holders from Punjab who joined PTI after May 2017, that is between the period from June 2017 to March 2018.
The newest addition to the group of these 42 ticket holders is Sardar Ghulam Abbas, who joined PTI just five days before announcement of party tickets but is awarded ticket ignoring old timers from the area.
Given the situation, the PTI is facing immense criticism not only from its political opponents but also from loyalists, workers and those sincere party leaders. The party critics also include a handful of electable, who had joined the PTI in search of a party ticket, but failed to get one.
One such old party leader is Noor Hayat Kalyar from Sargodha who is refused party ticket and in retaliation he has announced to contest the upcoming general election as an independent candidate.
Kalyar had contested 2013 general elections on the PTI ticket and was defeated by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Now from Kalyar’s constituency (NA-92), the PTI has given ticket to Zafar Qureshi, who is a new entrant to the party.
To cope with the situation emerging out of ongoing protests by party loyalists, the PTI on Saturday decided to form reconciliation committees at the central, provincial and district levels to analyse the situation that arose after the award of tickets.
It was decided during the party’s Media Strategy Committee meeting chaired by Imran Khan. In a statement issued later, the PTI said the party leadership also analysed the distress and anxiety in the PML-N ranks over the PTI nominees in different constituencies.
The party also announced it would field ‘strong’ candidates in rest of the national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies.
More ticket holders finalised
On Saturday, the PTI’s Central Parliamentary Board nominated four more candidates for National Assembly and provincial assemblies and issued tickets to candidates. From NA-72 Sialkot, the PTI decided to field Firdous Ashiq Awan as its candidate. Awan joined PTI on May 30, 2017.
Sheheryar Afridi will contest election NA seat on the PTI ticket from Kohat. From Shangla Shoukat Yousafzai will be PTI’s candidate for a provincial assembly. The PTI has also fielded Hameeda Shahid for the provincial assembly seat from Upper Dir.
“It must be noted that this is the constituency where women were not allowed to cast vote, however, the PTI has set a new example by nominating a women as its candidate from this constituency,” said the statement.