PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said PTI should be allowed to run door-to-door campaigns and retain its long-held election symbol of bat as he dismissed the notion that either move could hurt his own party’s chances in the forthcoming Feb 8 polls.
On October 21, the embattled PTI asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately allot it the “bat” as its electoral symbol for the upcoming general elections, terming the delay in issuance of the electoral symbol “unjustifiable” and “intolerable”.
On November 24, the ECP annulled the intra-party polls of the PTI held in June last year, giving the former ruling party 20 days to go for a fresh election if it did not want to lose bat as its electoral symbol.
On December 2, the PTI, despite challenging the ECP’s ruling in the Sindh High Court, held fresh intra-party elections and elected Barrister Gohar Ali Khan as the party’s new chairman.
On December 5, the PTI submitted the results of its elections and other required documents to the ECP, asking it to issue a certificate in this regard as early as possible.
Speaking on Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada kay saath today, Sanaullah said the allotment of bat to PTI would not be of any consequence to the PML-N. “They (PTI candidates) should carry out door-to-door campaigns. The symbol of the bat should also remain with them (PTI),” he said.
The former interior minister was of the view that changing the PTI’s symbol before the elections wouldn’t make any difference, adding that such a switch might, in fact, allow the embattled party to get “one more reactionary vote”.
When asked if the PML-N was in a difficult situation in urban areas and could face defeat, he branded it as “mere propaganda on social media”.
“There is no truth to it. This is propaganda,” he added.
The PML-N leader added that he and other PML-N leaders have personally visited areas in Lahore to gauge the response of voters and have also conducted surveys.
Sanaullah said that it was “quite evident” that the PML-N position in rural areas was strong but admitted that urban areas would require some work.
“We will have to go door-to-door [in urban areas],” he said. “Get a survey conducted after ten days from the date of the election and you will find out how PML-N would clean sweep.”