LAHORE: The concerns over PTI’s success in keeping intact its candidates who won as independents materialised on Sunday as one of the winners joined PML-N.

The wheeling and dealing has intensified as PML-N, and PPP, are making hectic efforts to woo independent members-elect to improve their tally of total National and provincial assembly seats.

So far, six independent MNAs-elect, including PTI-backed Waseem Qadir from NA-121 (Lahore-V), have joined PML-N.

Mr Qadir — a former PML-N MPA and ex-deputy mayor of Lahore, who had joined the PTI in December 2018 — called on PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Sunday and joined the party.

Waseem Qadir, MNA-elect from NA-121 says ‘he returned home’

“I have returned to my home,” Mr Qadir was quoted as saying.

Likewise, Raja Khurram Nawaz from NA-48, Barrister Aqeel from NA-54, Pir Zahoor Hussain Qureshi from NA-146, Sardar Shamsher Mazari from NA-189, and Barrister Mian Khan Bugti from NA-253 have also joined PML-N.

The PML-N tally of Punjab Assembly seats also got a boost on Sunday after Mohammad Saqib Khan Chaddhar, who won as an independent candidate from PP-97 (Chin­iot-IV), joined the party.

The winning candidate joined the party after a meeting with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, according to a post on the latter’s official X account. Mr Sharif congratulated the MPA-elect and welcomed him to the party, the post added.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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