–PML-N hopeful some 25 members of PTI from south Punjab will vote for its nominees
–PTI candidates claim party will not lose support of south Punjab lawmakers, some PML-N MPs will vote for them as well
–PPP can never side with ‘fascist’ PTI, parliamentary leader says
LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to support Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the Senate by-polls scheduled for November 15 and the seven additional votes of PPP in the Punjab Assembly are crucial for both the rival parties – the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to sources, PTI is seeking the support of PPP’s lawmakers because the party is fearing to lose the support of independent MPs, especially those from south Punjab, as a consequence of its performance during its first three months in the government.
“As the PTI government has been making it to headlines for all the wrong reasons, a prominent decrease in its vote bank is expected and the fact that the two seats had previously been won by PML-N candidates as well cannot be ruled out,” they said and added that the PML-N leadership had forecast the same and was anticipating victory.
“They [PML-N leaders] are hopeful that some 25 members of PTI from south Punjab will vote for the PML-N-fielded candidates besides the seven of PPP and a few other independent candidates.”
The candidates of PTI – Waleed Iqbal and Seemi Aizdi – on the other hand, have claimed their party would not lose its vote bank under any circumstances and some of PML-N’s parliamentarians will also be supporting them in the Senate polls.
Sources informed Pakistan Today that the PTI candidates were not losing hope as the party leadership had requested Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar to woo the disgruntled PTI lawmakers. “The governor has also been told to consult Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar if needed.”
Meanwhile, sources in PML-N said that Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz had recently summoned a meeting of all party lawmakers, in which he requested them to participate in the elections and vote for PML-N’s Saira Afzal and Saud Majeed; however, they said, according to their information, PTI was doing the same in a bid to woo lawmakers.
“Candidates of both the PTI and PML-N have also started campaigning for their election,” sources said.
Waleed Iqbal and Seemi Aizdi have recently visited the assembly whereas PML-N’s Saira Afzal and Saud Majeed have also met the parliamentarians in a bid to secure their support, they added.
‘WON’T SUPPORT FASCIST PTI’:
Speaking to Pakistan Today, PPP leader Hassan Murtaza confirmed that PPP believed in democracy and had decided in principle to support PML-N.
“PTI is a fascist party that resorts to extreme measures such as promoting the trend of sit-ins. We [PPP], on the other hand, believe in a peaceful struggle. Keeping our mandate in view, PPP cannot vote for PTI at any cost.”
On political grounds, he said, the party had decided that PML-N was better than PTI. “The party leadership has taken this decision,” he added.
It is worth mentioning here that the embattled seats had fallen vacant after the disqualification of PML-N’s Sadia Abbasi and Haroon Akhtar for having dual nationalities.