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LAHORE, March 27: The Pakistan Muslim League-N has directed all its potential candidates to file their nomination papers instead of waiting for award of party tickets as last date (March 29) for submitting candidature is approaching fast.

“For want of time the candidates are being asked to file their papers with their relevant returning officers and party symbols will be issued later,” says a brief statement issued by the PML-N for its probable candidates here on Wednesday.

Headed by Nawaz Sharif, PML-N’s central parliamentary board is presently engaged in taking final decisions on award of tickets. Seeing the electoral situation too competitive this time, combined with the tough test of meeting the conditions set in Articles 62, 63 of the Constitution, Mr Sharif is taking extra care in finalising nominees as he does not want to field ‘weak’ contenders.

The seriousness of party could be gauged from the fact that it took the board over 10 hours to clear the list of PML-N nominees for Multan and Bahawalpur divisions on Tuesday (March 26).

On Wednesday, the board was taking up cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and the meeting was going on even after 10pm. Balochistan and the rest of Punjab would be taken up on Thursday.

The party’s Model Town office is wearing a festive look these days as hopefuls from across the country, along with their supporters and guards are thronging it in hundreds in a bid to win over the leadership.

Various recent opinion polls have indicated PML-N’s popularity graph is on the rise even in Balochistan and Sindh where it had no representation in the 2008 elections.

However, a most recent survey by an influential European country predicts zero per cent representation of the party in both these provinces in the 2013 polls too. The survey was conducted for internal consumption of the European country and so it was unlikely to be made public. However, it bodes well for the party in Punjab.

According to it, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is unlikely to pose any threat to the PML-N. It says the PTI will be most successful in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.