GUJRAT, Jan 29: Having little faith in the promised seat adjustment with the PPP, the PML-Q declared on Tuesday that deputy prime minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi will run for NA-105 in the coming election.
The seat is currently held by federal minister and PPP leader Ahmad Mukhtar who defeated Chaudhry Shujaat Husain in the last general election.
A source close to the minister told Dawn that President Asif Ali Zardari had, a couple of days ago, given Mukhtar a go-ahead to campaign for the seat as he would be the party candidate (from NA-105).
The PML-Q made the announcement during a gathering of former representatives of the local bodies as well as party workers from four out of 15 union councils of the city at the Zahoor Elahi House here on Tuesday. As the deputy prime minister made the announcement of contesting the elections from Gujrat, participants broke into cheers.
Though Ahmad Mukhtar had publicly been claiming of his nomination as the candidate of the PPP and PML-Q alliance for the next elections for long, this is for the first time that Mr Elahi has publicly announced that he will contest the elections from Gujrat. He said no compromise would be made on their ancestral seat.
Mr Elahi’s announcement was latter seconded by another important family member of the Chaudhrys, federal minister for human resource Chaudhry Wajahat Husain, who came to the dice and told the participants in the meeting that Pervaiz Elahi would contest from NA-105 whereas Imran Masood and Moonis Elahi would contest from both the Punjab Assembly constituencies -- PP-111 and PP-110 that fell under NA-105 -- respectively.
The announcement by the PML-Q also makes it clear that party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Husain who has traditionally been contesting the elections from NA-105 since 1985, will retain his Senate seat and now the family has decided to field Pervaiz Elahi who is known for his expertise of contesting the polls with an innovative strategy and technique.
Both Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and Ahmed Mukhtar have been traditional rivals in NA-105 since 1990, with Husain winning it thrice and Mukhtar twice.
Talking to Dawn, Imran Masood said following the announcement of the PML-Q panel, speculations regarding Gujrat’s high profile constituencies must end. He said his party would never step back (on the announcement) whether it contested the election in alliance with the PPP or opted for a solo flight. He also clarified that they would contest on the Q’s elections symbol of bicycle.
Speaking to the gathering, Pervaiz Elahi said if the people wanted restoration of the local bodies system, which guaranteed their service and development, they should vote for the PML-Q in the next election and ensure its victory.