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SHANGLA: Awami National Party local leaders on Friday rejected a decision of the party’s provincial leadership about electoral alliance with Pakistan Muslim League-N for the upcoming re-election on PK-23, Shangla-I.

The decision was taken at a meeting here, where ANP district president Haji Saeed Fareen, party’s candidate for PK-23, Mutawakeel Khan, and other senior leaders and workers were present.

The majority of ANP senior workers said they could not accept the decisions of the party without taking them onboard, especially in such important cases because ANP had secured good votes in the recent general elections.

They said the ANP man could win the seat by defeating the PML-N and PTI candidates in the by-poll which is going to be held on Sept 10.

Attaullah Khan, district councillor of ANP, said the workers had decided that they would vote for PTI candidate as the party had governments in the centre and the province so that its MPA could work for Shangla’s progress.

He said Shangla was an underdeveloped district which needed development and it was an opportunity for them to vote for PTI instead of PML-N.

Senior ANP leader Haq Nawaz Advocate said they could not abide by the provincial leaders’ decisions as their reservations had not been addressed by the leadership.

“We want Shangla’s development, and if ANP does not field its candidate then it is our wish to vote for the PTI man to ensure development of the district,” Mr Nawaz said, adding PML-N ruled the country for over two decades but did nothing for Shangla.

Shams-ur-Rehman, a party councillor from Dehrai, said it was expected that ANP would strike electoral alliance with PTI because majority of party workers were willing to do so, but the party leadership went against their will.

“ANP workers cannot vote for PML-N candidate as he has always ignored Shangla,” the nazim said, adding if PTI leadership contacted ANP for electoral alliance then the latter would welcome it.

Altaf Khan, ANP Shangla general secretary, said the party’s provincial leadership did not consider uplift of the district when it took the decision of allying with the PML-N for the by-poll.

He said 90 per cent of workers were not willing to strike an electoral alliance with PML-N.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2018