The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) gleefully accepted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) convener for the PP-155 constituency (Cantonment) into the party fold in an induction ceremony here on Wednesday.
Four MNAs, Senator Pervez Rashid and several MPAs were on hand to welcome Rana Muhammad Tanvir, dozens of former PTI workers and other office bearers from the Cantonment Board in to the PML-N.
Tanvir was PTI’s Cantonment convener and as such stood to be the party’s candidate for the PP-155 constituency. He told reporters at the ceremony that he had been disillusioned by the PTI’s recruitment of veteran politicians such as Sheikh Rashid, whom he described as “the final straw” that provoked his quitting the party.
He said that he had enrolled 37,000 youths in PP-155 to the PTI but the party had not repaid his hard work. He lashed out at Imran Khan, saying the PTI chief had no control over his party. He said Khan had become rude and the PTI was in internal disarray.
He said that he had been a PML-N supporter before he joined the PTI.
PTI sources said that Tanvir had quit as he had been unlikely to win the party’s ticket for PP-155. They said that the party currently had 16 serious candidates for that constituency, among them Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Mehmood Gilani and Rana Fawad Rasool.
They said that the party’s leadership would decide the candidate on merit. They said it was not surprising that those not getting PTI tickets would try to get them from other parties.
Sources close to Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the MNA had played a major part in Tanvir’s defection, as he was troubled by the PTI’s rising popularity in his National Assembly constituency, NA-125, which is in the same region. They said that Rafique believed the PTI had made a dent of around 45,000 votes in his vote bank at NA-125.
Rafique told reporters that he would welcome all PTI workers to the PML-N. He said that “forces behind the curtain” and a few journalists had tried to defame the PML-N but had failed.
Senator Pervez Rashid said that the PML-N leadership was awarding tickets to “ordinary men” like himself, Rafique, Rana Sanaullah and Shakil Awan, while Khan was awarding tickets to the likes of Sheikh Rashid, Khurshid Kasuri and Shah Mehmood Qureshi. He said that the establishment had nurtured Khan.
PML-N MNAs Rana Ishaq and Mian Naseer Bhutta also attended the ceremony.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.