LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has reportedly withdrawn party ticket from party’s Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry allegedly on the charges of bank default. Mr Chaudhry, who himself was member of party’s central parliamentary board, was awarded ticket for PP-148.
When contacted, Mr Chaudhry said that his party ticket had so far not been withdrawn but he would obey party decision. “If my party ticket is withdrawn, I will not withdraw my nomination papers from the Election Commission to express that my moral position is clear,” he asserted.
Interestingly, now Punjab and Lahore district’s elected presidents are not in the run for general election and will be “supervising party’s election campaign in Punjab and Lahore”.
At a ceremony to award party tickets to PTI Lahore candidates, the party gave first surprise as the Lahore finalists did not include district president Abdul Aleem Khan, who was hopeful for two constituencies – NA-127 and PP-147. Both of these seats were given to his close aides Nasrullah Mughal and Shoaib Siddiqui, who were earlier not shortlisted earlier and Aleem Khan had went into a protest mode.
However, Aleem called his ouster from run for general election for a bigger role as supervising the election campaign of all 13 National Assembly and 26 Punjab Assembly constituencies.
Similarly, the party candidates state that Ejaz Chaudhry’s ticket had been withdrawn so that he could look after party campaign across the province. “After the award of tickets, all candidates had gone to their respective constituencies and the PTI Punjab office was feared to fell silent,” a party official said. He said the party needed top management active to supervise and coordinate election campaign in Lahore and Punjab.
Meanwhile, it is learnt, Aleem started contacting all Lahore candidates and coordinating for their election offices’ inauguration by party chief Imran Khan on April 19 and 20.
The PTI candidates have launched their election campaigns in their constituencies and expressing that people were giving their overwhelming positive response for the party.
An interesting combat is expected in NA-120, where PTI has pitched party’s Punjab general secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid. Though Dr Yasmin had worked and launched party campaign NA-127 and PP-154 for the last two-and-a-half-year, she had willingly accepted to contest against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in his fortress.
While Nawaz Sharif’s campaign have been launched by his wife Kalsoom Nawaz and daughter Maryam Nawaz, Dr Yasmin’s team of volunteers and workers are going door-to-door and contacting people for their votes.
Dr Yasmin is visiting different markets and shops and meeting traders for votes.
“The people’s response is highly positive as they want change from the status quo. Even those, who are afraid of PML-N top leadership’s victimization, have assured their full support to the PTI,” she claimed.
PTI chief organiser in Lahore Aleem Khan said the award of PML-N tickets to candidates reflected that the party itself was not satisfied with the performance of its elected representatives during the last five years.
“The PML-N has nothing to show to masses except a “Jangla Bus Service and a couple of over-head bridges,” he added.
Party workers staged a protest demonstration against the award of party ticket to Zaheer Abbas Khokhar for PP-160. The protesters chanted slogans against Zaheer Abbas and demanded that party ticket be given to Malik Sarfraz.