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LAHORE: As the PML-N’s difficulties are likely to compound further after the controversial remarks of its Quaid Nawaz Sharif, its president Shahbaz Sharif has extended last date for submission of applications for the party ticket for the upcoming elections till May 25.

The PMLN last Friday had formed a parliamentary board and sought applications from the party men from May 15 to 20.

However, Shahbaz on Tuesday tweeted that the ticket aspirants could submit applications till May 25. “Those interested in getting PML-N tickets for general elections 2018 may submit their applications from May 15 to 25. Procedure (is) mentioned below,” Shahbaz tweeted.

A PML-N insider told Dawn that the party chief’s tweet showed panic in the camp in the wake of Nawaz’s controversial statement.

“After a formal announcement on Friday last, Shahbaz was not supposed to take to social media and send a reminder to the party men in this regard,” he said, adding that it seemed the party chief was fearing there might not be many aspirants for the party tickets in the current scenario.

When contacted, PML-N leader from Punjab Muhammad Mehdi dispelled the impression that there was any decline in the party’s ticket seekers.

“There was more or less a similar situation ahead of the Senate election, but at the end of the day the PML-N was the party that received the most applications for the Upper House seats.

“Similarly, for the forthcoming elections the PML-N will be the party receiving more applications for the national and provincial assemblies’ slots than any other party,” he claimed.

Mr Mehdi said no doubt the party was facing hard times but it was not more difficult than October 1999. “We will emerge stronger in this test,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018