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Rebel candidates ‘pose serious threat’ to PML-N in LG poll

Rebel candidates ‘pose serious threat’ to PML-N in LG poll

LAHORE: Fearing tough time at the hands of independent candidates in the local elections, the ruling PML-N has stepped up its efforts to set its own home in order before the electoral contest due on Oct 31.

“We’re facing a unique situation in which we have to work more on our own disgruntled colleagues than against the rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf,” a senior PML-N leader from Lahore told Dawn on Sunday.

Seeking anonymity, the leader said that in scores of union councils of the provincial metropolis more than one Nawaz League workers were contesting against their own party’s nominee, causing division in the PML-N vote-bank and thus paving way for the contestants belonging to the rival PTI or others.

Seeing the situation, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who also happens to be provincial president of the PML-N, has formed a committee to approach the workers contesting against the party nominees and offer them incentives (in return for withdrawal of candidature).

Where needed Shahbaz was contacting the disgruntled workers himself by phone, he said.

The incentives included the selection of those withdrawing in favour of the party candidates on reserved seats, making them members of various district-level government bodies, etc., he said.

But, he claimed, the committee comprising Hafiz Nauman, Yasin Sohal, Mian Naseer, Mehr Ishtiaq, Dr Asad Ashraf, and retired Col Mubashshar was getting poor response because “the rebel candidates doubt the committee members’ capacity to get the promises they were making fulfilled after the polls”.

Another committee, formed on the direction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a few days ago, was assessing party position in each union council of Lahore, a source said.

The body comprised the people who had played a major role in the party re-organisation back in 2011 as the prime minister was not relying solely on the parliamentarians, he added.

Published in Dawn, October 19th , 2015

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