LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lost three more National Assembly candidates and four more provincial assembly candidates from the southern Punjab region. The candidates opted to return party tickets and announced contesting the elections as independent candidates.
According to the list provided by the PML-N’s central office, the party had no candidates in as many as 10 constituencies. And by Saturday midnight, the number of such constituencies had surged to 13.
Four of the candidates who had returned the PML-N tickets were from Rajanpur. They included former deputy speaker of the provincial assembly Sher Ali Gorchani, who earlier appeared as PML-N candidate from NA-193 and PP-293 while his father Pervez Gorchani was the same party’s candidate from PP-295. Ather Gorchani from PP-294 also returned the party ticket.
PML-N still short of 272 ticket holders for NA seats
Yousuf Khan Dareshak and his brother Dr Hafeez Dareshak who were to contest the polls from PP-296 and NA-194 respectively, also returned the PML-N tickets.
All of these lawmakers have now been allotted the symbol of ‘jeep’ for the polls as independent candidates. This is the same symbol on which disgruntled PML-N leader and former interior Chaudhary Nisar is contesting polls from NA-59, NA-63, PP-10 and PP-12 as an independent candidate.
From Muzaffargarh, Sultan Mehmood Hanjra, the holder of PML-N ticket from NA-181, also announced his intentions to contest as an independent candidate. He too had reportedly requested to be assigned ‘jeep’ as election symbol.
Similarly in Dera Ghazi Khan, Amjad Farooq Khosa returned the PML-N ticket from NA-190 and PP-285 while Shamoona Mir Badshah Qaisrani announced contesting as an independent candidate.
Former PML-N candidate from PP-295 Pervez Gorchani insisted that he was a diehard PML-N supporter but some circumstances had forced him to return the party ticket. He did not elaborate. He maintained that he needed to talk to PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif but he refused to shed any light on why he returned the party ticket.
According to him, apart from Ather Gorchani, who had always been a supporter of the PTI, he and his son Sher Ali Gorchani as well as Dareshaks were PML-N supporters. He said he could not even think of quitting the PML-N.
ECP mulls over registration of PML-N under disqualified person
Maryam to contest as ‘independent’ on NA-125
Maryam Nawaz Sharif will contest the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate from her father’s stronghold while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has fielded Waheed Alam Khan as its candidate from the same constituency.
This rather interesting situation arose after Maryam ‘failed’ to withdraw her candidature from NA-125 on which the returning officer (RO) had to allot her a symbol, pencil, from the list of additional signs reserved for the independent candidates of NA-125, thus placing the Sharif’s heiress as a candidate from a constituency her own party has placed a candidate from.
Meanwhile on Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) allotted electoral symbols to a total of 163 candidates for the 14 National Assembly (NA) seats from Lahore. A total of 64 candidates who had been allotted the electoral symbols from Lahore belong to political parties whereas 99 candidates are contesting the polls as independents.
According to the list of allotted symbols, from NA-123 PML-N’s Malik Muhammad Riaz will contest on the party’s patented ‘lion’ against Mehar Wajid Azeem on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) symbol ‘cricket bat’. While Zahid Iqbal will contest on Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) symbol ‘arrow’.
On NA-124, Hamza Shehbaz, contesting under ‘lion’ will be PML-N’s candidate while Nauman Qaiser and Babu Zaheer will contest under ‘cricket bat’ and ‘arrow’ respectively. A total of three contenders are to contest from the constituency as independents.
From NA-125, PTI’s Dr Yasmin Rashid will contest with ‘cricket bat’ where she’s pitted against PML-N’s Waheed Alam and Maryam Nawaz. Later Maryam wrote to the RO for withdrawal of her candidature, but she was placed as independent candidate in the constituency over her failure to withdraw nomination in time.
PML-N still short of 272 ticket holders for NA seats
Other candidates from the constituency include PPP’s Zubair Kardar and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s (MMA) Hafiz Salman Butt with the symbol ‘book’. PML-N detractor Zaeem Qadri will also contest from the constituency and has been allotted the symbol ‘jeep’. Eight other candidates have also been allotted election symbols from the constituency by the ECP.
The PTI has also placed Hammad Azhar as its contender from NA-126 against PML-N’s Mehar Ishtiaq, who is contesting on ‘lion’. Auranzaib Burki will be PPP’s candidate while only one independent candidate has been allotted election symbol from the constituency.
From NA-127, Maryam heads into the polls with PML-N’s ‘lion’ and will face PTI’s Jamsheed Iqbal Cheema contesting on ‘cricket bat’. PPP’s Chaudhry Adnan, MMA’s Rashid Ahmed as well as five independent candidates have also been assigned electoral symbol from the constituency.
The ‘lion’, ‘cricket bat’ and ‘arrow’ will once again clash at NA-128 as Rohail Asghar, Ijaz Diyal and Zafar Ali Shah will contest elections respectively from the platforms of the PML-N, the PTI and the PPP while other candidates from the constituency include MMA’s Manzoor Hussain and 10 independents who also have been awarded symbols.
Meanwhile, former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, a PML-N candidate from NA-129, will once again compete against PTI’s Aleem Khan while a former federal minister steps into the field as an independent candidate. The PPP has also nominated Iftikhar Shahid as its contender from the constituency.
Moreover in NA-130, Khawaja Ahmed Hassan is the PML-N candidate against PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood, MMA’s Liaquat Baloch and PPP’s Mumtaz Khalid. Five independents have also been allotted electoral symbols for the NA seat.
One of the most crucial battles will be in NA-131 where PTI chairman Imran Khan is contesting against PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique. Other contenders from the area are PPP’s Asim Mahmood as well as singer Jawad Ahmed who has been allotted the symbol ‘gate’. As many as 10 independents are also in the race from the constituency.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is also set to contest PTI’s Mansha Sindhu, PPP’s Samina Khalid Ghurki, singer Jawad Ahmed and MMA’s Haider Ali for NA-132.
Meanwhile, PML-N detractor and former provincial minister Zaeem Qadri is also contesting for NA-133 as an independent candidate on the symbol of ‘Sunflower’. He will compete against PTI’s Ijaz Chaudhry and PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik.
From NA-134, PML-N’s Rana Mubashir will compete against PTI’s Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, PPP’s Sohail Afzal and MMA’s Aneela Batool. Likewise, from NA-135, PML-N’s Saif-ul-Malook Khokhar is pitted against PTI’s Karamat Khokhar, PPP’s Amjad Ali and MMA’s Ameer-ul-Azeem while from NA-136, PML-N’s Afzal Khokhar will compete against PTI’s Malik Asad Khokhar and Jameel Ahmed of the PPP. A total of 10 independent candidates have also been allotted symbols in this constituency.
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