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PML-N forms committees to select candidates for LG polls

PML-N forms committees to select candidates for LG polls

RAWALPINDI: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has formed committees in all the National Assembly constituencies in the district for the selection of candidates for the local government elections in September.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the president of the PML-N Punjab, asked the committees to finalise the lists of the candidates and send it to him within 10 days for final approval.

Faced with groupings in different cities, the PML-N has assigned the committees the task of settling disputes among the groups.

A senior PML-N leader told Dawn that the party leadership wanted to win all the seats in the forthcoming local government elections, especially in the Rawalpindi district where Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed won National Assembly seats in the 2013 general elections.

He said the situation in the garrison city was not ideal for the PML-N as the party was divided in three groups. The PML-N Punjab also asked the committees to immediately start work and bring the groups to a single platform and resolve their issues by forming Jirgas.

Another PML-N leader said for the first time the elections would be contested without the role of a main local leader. “In the Cantonment elections, Senator Chaudhry Tanveer got more popularity and now some circles in the party do not want to give him such a projection in the upcoming local government elections,” he said.

He said before the arrival of Chaudhry Tanveer in the forefront, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan used to call the shots within the party’s local chapter but the situation changed after the PML-N won all the seats in the cantonment elections.

When contacted, former MNA Malik Shakil Awan confirmed that the committees had been formed in the National Assembly constituencies in all the districts. “In Rawalpindi, MNA of the respective constituency or the party candidate in the 2013 elections will lead the committee and the MPAs or candidates for the provincial assembly constituency will be the members of the committee for the selection of the candidates.”

He said the objective behind the formation of the committees was that the MNA and MPA understood the local politics and also knew the old party workers. They are in a position to pick old party workers and suitable candidates for the elections.

He said there was no grouping in the party and all the party leaders and workers were united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, the committee for NA-55 held a meeting on Saturday. The meeting was attended by Malik Shakil Awan, PML-N City president Sardar Naseem and former MPA Ziaullah Shah.

During the meeting, the committee members decided to settle the disputes among the party workers in four union councils before the local government polls. It was also decided to take oath from all the candidates to follow the directions of the party.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2015

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