THE workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are still in shock over defeat of their party in the province even after passing of more than one month of the general elections.
However, none of the defeated candidates is ready to accept his mistakes and instead gives different reasons for losing the May 11 elections. The workers alleged the party had no head in the province and everyone was avoiding even attending their telephone calls.
On the other hand, differences among different groups of workers seem to have widened mainly owing to selection of women candidates on reserved seats and allotment of tickets.
Talking to this scribe, several leaders of PML-N pointed out issues pertaining to late distribution of tickets and then replacement of those candidates, who according to them were in winning position.
They said that at least 15 seats were lost owing to awarding tickets to unsuitable candidates as the parliamentary board of the party was unable to oppose the influential leaders of their respective groups.
“The grouping in the party ruined the entire process because head of every group was candidate for the slot of chief minister before holding of elections. That’s why they tried to get maximum of the tickets for their close friends,” a PML-N source said.
He said that so many office-bearers were in the run for each seat and it was difficult to select anyone among them that caused confusion.
Some of the PML-N workers attributed the election defeat to the cold response of the central leadership that according to them did not take the elections seriously. That’s why Mian Nawaz Sharif avoided speaking at public meetings in different districts like leaders of his opponent political parties did, they added.
“Mian Sahab was confident that his party would win so he did not take trouble to visit various districts except visiting Swat, Mardan. He addressed a public meeting at Jhagra in Peshawar while maximum of his visits remained confined to Hazara division,” a senior PML-N leader said.
He said that PML-N was always confident to get the required seats from Punjab and it had no interest in the rest of provinces, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that was already hit hard by militancy and floods.
“Some of the key leaders in the province were even not invited to the oath taking ceremony of the prime minister in Islamabad that deepened the grievances of the office-bearers,” he said.
Another leader said that PML-N would have never stopped supply of wheat flour from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if it had interests in the province. He said that Hazara division was given a federal minister and deputy speaker of National Assembly but other divisions were ignored.
However, PML-N central general secretary Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said that defeat of the party was a common concern of all the leaders and everyone was responsible for it.
“We have not yet held any review meeting, which is need of the hour to ascertain as to what were the real causes of defeat,” he said. He rejected the notion that Nawaz Sharif had no interests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying being head of the party Mr Sharif had shown serious concern over the poor performance of the party.
Similarly, PML-N youth wing central information secretary Ali Khan Yousufzai said that activities would soon be started whenever the leadership directed the office-bearers in the province.
PML-N provincial general secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak also confirmed that no activity was planned by the party, saying it seemed centre had had forgotten the province.
“I had contacted many people and they were ready to join PML-N but central leadership did not give time and thus the politicians joined other parties, especially Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,” he claimed.
Mr Khattak also suggested that review meetings were essential to know as to why the party lost the elections. “We were fully confident to win the elections and form government in the province but lost all chances for unknown reasons,” he said.