GUJRAT: PPP-backed candidates for the by-polls in NA-75 Daska (Sialkot) and PP-51 Wazirabad city have withdrawn their nomination papers in favour of PML-N nominees in both the constituencies.
PPP Punjab vice president and former MPA, Ijaz Ahmed Samman, who was the party candidate for the by-poll in PP-51, told Dawn over the phone that the PPP had decided to withdraw its candidates from both the constituencies in favour of PML-N nominees over the latter’s support to PPP candidates in Sindh as per an understanding between the parties.
He said he was asked to do so by PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira after which he and the NA-75 candidate, Sumera Sahi, withdrew their candidature. He said the PPP would now support the PML-N on both these seats.
Meanwhile, at least 10 candidates withdrew their nomination papers from PP-51 and two from NA-75 on the last date of withdrawal of the papers. Election symbols to the final nominees would be allotted on Thursday (today).
At least six out of 10 candidates who withdrew from PP-51 were from the PML-N, including the party’s district president Mustansar Gondal, Imtiaz Azhar Bagri, Baber Allauddin Farooqi and Khalid Manzoor Cheema and Wahaj Shaukat – the brother and son of former MPA Shaukat Cheema, respectively. Shabeer Akram Cheema and Mushtaq Ahmed Butt also withdrew their nomination papers.
For both the by-polls, the PML-N has chosen family members of the deceased lawmakers who held the seats previously. Nosheen Iftikhar -- the daughter of former MNA Zahry Shah -- and Talat Cheema -- the widow of former MPA Shaukat Cheema -- have been given the party tickets for NA-75 and PP-51, respectively.
Sources in the PML-N said the party chose these candidates in a bid to win sympathy votes, and with the PPP’s support their position had strengthened.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has nominated former minister Ali Asjad Malhi and Chaudhry Muhammad Yousaf Arain as its candidates for NA-75 and PP-51 whereas the Jamaat-i-Islami has chosen Nasir Kalair in PP-51.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2021