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Sharifs clear first test of nerves

LAHORE, April 7: At least 1,714 nomination papers, including of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ex-chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, for 13 National Assembly and 25 Punjab Assembly’s Lahore seats have been accepted, reveal the lists displayed after a seven-day scrutiny outside the offices of returning officers here on Sunday.

There were at least 575 contenders for the National Assembly seats. Of them papers of 49 were rejected and 19 withdrew their candidatures.

For the provincial assembly seats, as many as 1,312 candidates were in the run. Papers of 80 of them were rejected and 25 withdrew their nominations.

PML-N president Nawaz Sharif had applied for NA-119 and NA-120 and he succeeded in satisfying returning officers against all objections.

In NA-119, Nawaz’ nephew Hamza Shahbaz will be facing his ex-wife Ayesha Ahad Malik. Hamza had raised objections against Ayesha but the RO rejected them.

Shahbaz’ candidatures for NA-129 and PP-159 were also accepted.

Meanwhile, PML-N workers from PP-149, Lahore, took out a protest rally demanding that the party should refuse the ticket to former MPA Rana Mashhood.

Led by Yasir Niazi, the protesters who took a round of the constituency, alleged that the ex-deputy speaker siphoned off all development funds to his native town Vehari at the cost of the area that had sent him to the elected house.

They demanded the leadership this time give a ticket to some ‘local instead of an ‘outsider’ like Mashhood.

Former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah told the media after a break in the PML-N parliamentary board’s meeting in Model Town that the final list of ticket-holders would be made public after completion of the scrutiny process.

He told a questioner that Imran Khan missed the train to power corridors this time as the cricketer-turned-politicians kept his party engaged in intra-party polls instead of making preparations for the general election.