LAHORE, May 16: Four independent winning candidates have joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
These winning candidates are Raza Hayat Hiraj (NA-156, Khanewal), Tahir Iqbal (NA-169, Vehari), Ashiq Husain (NA-180, Muzaffargarh) and Amir Talal (PP-261, Muzaffargarh).
These candidates had earlier given in writing that they would join the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) after winning the election, but later they did not honour their words.
They said in their separate undertakings: “I want to join the PML. I pledge under oath that I will remain loyal to the PML and abide by the party manifesto and ideology. The ECP should be informed of my joining the PML.”
These candidates remained PML-Q members in the past and enjoyed party privileges. Like many other PML-Q stalwarts, they told the party leadership before the May 11 election that they wanted to contest the election independently. They were of the view that they might not win because of PML-Q’s alliance with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as their supporters were against the PPP.
The PML-Q leadership was optimistic after the election that the winning independent candidates who remained part of it would eventually join it, but at the end of the day they preferred PML-N, which is going to form government both in the Centre and Punjab.
“The candidates in question should have kept their word. Like many others they should not have run after power all the time,” says a PML-Q leader.
Talking to Dawn, he said they would soon realise that they had not got the respect in the PML-N that they enjoyed in the party of Chaudhrys. “They could have done effective politics by joining the opposition benches,” he argued.
The PML-Q has two seats in the National Assembly and seven in the Punjab Assembly.
On the other hand, independent winning candidates have talked about their dilemma of joining the winning party. They are of the view that those who understand the constituency politics can understand that it is not easy to remain in opposition for five years.
“The people of my constituency want development work. They want me to join the winning party so that development work in the constituency could be done without any hassle,” Tahir Iqbal told Dawn. He said he remained in the opposition during the last government in Punjab.
Mr Iqbal said the PML-Q had got written undertaking from party members contesting the election independently before the May 11 election that they would join the party after winning the election.