LAHORE:The Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) has sought application from potential candidates for award of tickets for by-elections on 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly that fell vacant when Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPAs were de-notified by the Election Commission (ECP) for voting against the party policy in the polls for the chief minister held on April 16.

PPP-P general secretary Senator Farhatullah Babar has sought applications from aspirants of party ticket and instructed them to submit their requests in the name of the party president along with a bank draft of Rs35,000. The application should reach House No. 8, Street 19, F-8, Islamabad or House No. 1, Street 85, Sector G-6, Embassy Road, Islamabad by June 3, 2022.

The provincial chapter of the PPP-P has already decided to field its candidates against all those seats where the senior ruling coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will not pitch its nominee.

Those de-seated PTI MPAs had been promised by the PML-N that it would award them its tickets for the by-polls. However, the N-League has neither sought applications for the purpose nor convened its parliamentary board meeting to take a decision on the issue.

PML-N awaiting SC verdict in de-seated members case

The PML-N hopes that the ECP decision of de-seating the disgruntled PTI MPAs will be reversed by the Supreme Court, already moved by the de-notified assembly members, and is waiting for the apex court verdict before finalising its nominees for the vacant constituencies.

The ECP has announced that by-polls for the 20 seats will be held on July 17. These seats include: PP-7, Rawalpindi-II; PP-83, Khushab-II; PP-90, Bhakkar-II; PP-97, Faisalabad-I; PP-125, Jhang-II; PP-127, Jhang-IV, PP-140, Sheikhupura-VI; PP-158, Lahore-XV; PPs-167, 168 and 170, Lahore-XXIV, XXIV & XXVI; PP-202, Sahiwal-VII; PP-217, Multan-VII; Pp-224, Lodhran-I; PP-228, Lodhran-V; PP-237, Bahawalnagar-I; PPs-272 and 273, Muzaffargarh-V, VI; PP-282, Layyah-III; and PP-288, Dera Ghazi Khan-IV.

The de-notified MPAs were Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha, Saeed Akbar Khan, Muhammad Ajmal, Faisal Hayat, Mehar Muhammad Aslam, Mian Khalid Mehmood, Abdul Aleem Khan, Nazir Ahmad Chohan, Malik Asad Ali Khokhar, Muhammad Amin Zulqrnain, Malik Nauman Langrial, Muhammad Salman, Zawar Hussain Warraich, Nazir Ahmad Khan, Zahara Batool, Muhammad Sabtain Raza, Muhammad Tahir, and Mohsin Atta Khosa.

The ECP also de-seated five MPAs elected to the reserved seats for women and minorities from the PTI quota. They were Uzma Kardar, Aisha Nawaz, Sajida Yousaf, Ijaz Masih and Haroon Imran Gill.

Meanwhile, PPP-P leader Syed Hassan Murtaza, who has been nominated as senior Punjab minister, told a press conference that the party had not sought any quota of seats in the elections. He, however, said that seat adjustment may be possible to the extent of leadership.

He hoped that the senior coalition partner would take the junior partners along in the by-polls and that a unanimous decision would be taken on the issue.

He told a questioner that there would be no friction with the PML-N on the issue of powers.

Blaming the PTI for inciting the masses against the federation, the minister said the PTI leadership should be tried under Article-6.

He warned that if the PTI re-attempted to attack Islamabad, legal action would be initiated against them.

He said the incumbent government would not give any lists of the opposition leaders to the accountability agencies.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2022

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