TOBA TEK SINGH: In a major development in the politics of Jhang, PPP senior leader and former federal minister for interior Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat may quit PPP and join the PML-N.

PML-N supremo Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shehbaz Sharif are scheduled to visit Shah Jewana on Monday (today) or Tuesday where Faisal is expected to announce his decision to join their party in their presence.

The political observers had observed a unique situation on Friday when Faisal reached in a big procession of his supporters to the office of returning officer to file his nomination papers for NA-108 and PP-125 but not a single PPP flag was being carried by any of his supporters.

However, it has been confirmed by reliable sources close to Faisal that the Sharifs are coming to Faisal’s residence where he will announce joining the PML-N and the party leaders will announce Faisal’s candidature for both seats on which he had filed his nomination papers.

Faisal Saleh Hayat had quit the PPP during the Musharraf regime and later joined the PML-Q. He rejoined the PPP in 2017. In the 2018 general election, he was the PPP candidate but lost the election to PTI’s Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan by just 600 votes in the recount. The PML-N could not field any candidate in his constituency in the last election. Out of the three constituencies of Jhang, the party had fielded only one candidate, Muhammad Saleem Tahir, in NA-115 who had lost the election with a big margin.

On the other hand, the old rivals are again the main contestants for all three National Assembly constituencies in district Toba Tek Singh.

For NA-105 Gojra during the 2018 election, the PML-N candidate Khalid Javed Warraich had defeated runner-up PTI candidate Usama Hamza. Both the leaders, besides other candidates, are again in the run for the upcoming election. For NA-105 in the 2018 election, PML-N candidate Junaid Anwar Chaudhry had defeated the PTI’s Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq and they are main contestants for the Feb 8 election.

For NA-106 Kamalia in the 2018 election, the PTI’s Riaz Fatyana had defeated the PML-N’s Chaudhry Asadur Rehman Ramday and both of them are contesting election.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2023

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