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LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has entered the `final phase’ of forming its government in Punjab with assertions that the party has already got the support of required number of MPAs-elect. However, there is no discussion on the selection of a candidate for Punjab chief minister for now.

Besides eight elected members of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), including an independent, the PTI claims 22 independents have formally joined the party, taking its tally to 153 in the directly-elected house of 297 members.

Read: PTI yet to nominate CMs of Punjab, KP

The 22 independents, who have joined the party, are: Raja Sagheer Ahmad (PP-7), Syed Saeedul Hassan (PP-46), Muhammad Ajmal Cheema (PP-97), Ghulam Rasool Sangha (PP-83), Ameer M Khan (PP-89), Saeed Akbar Khan (PP-90), Khawar Shah (PP-203), Muhammad Umer Farooq (PP-106), Faisal Hayat (PP-125), Hussain Jahanian Gardezi (PP-204), Sheikh Salman Naeem (PP-2017), Fida Hussain (PP-237), Shaukat Lalika (PP-238), Sardar Abdul Haye Dasti (PP-270), Basit Bukhari (PP-272), Khurram Leghari (PP-275), Tahir Mehmood Randhawa (PP-282), Syed Rafaqat Ali Gillani (PP-284), Muhammad Hanif Pitafi (PP-289), Taimoor Laali (PP-93), Rai Taimoor Bhatti (PP-124) and Mehr Aslam Bharwana (PP-127).

Sources say the PTI will bag 34 women seats and five minority seats against its 153 members and show up with 192 members in the complete house of 371 members.

Sources say party chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday remained busy in discussions about party policies for the first 30 days, 90 days and 100 days. “However, there was no discussion on the chief minister candidate as the party is weighing all options,” says a party leader.

Owing to indecision, the candidates for the coveted chief minister slot are increasing and lobbying with their credentials besides discrediting others on different grounds.

Candidates in the run are: Abdul Aleem Khan, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Fawad Chaudhry, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed and new entrant Yassir Humayun (PP-21).

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2018