Independents to decree PTI, PML-N fate in Punjab
Even after bagging millions of votes and winning dozens of seats at national and provincial levels, mainstream political parties, such as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are at the mercy of independent candidates to form government in Punjab, reports The Express Tribune.
The 29 independents, who won in July 25 elections in Punjab, are being offered important portfolios and hefty perks by different political parties.
Both the PML-N and the PTI are claiming that they have secured the support of most independents. However, few independent candidates have already announced to join the PTI and the PML-Q, reports The Express Tribune.
Although the PML-N and the PTI have won 129 and 123 seats, respectively, out of total 295 seats of the Punjab Assembly, both parties require independent candidates or support of small parties to form a government in Punjab.
Seven independent candidates of Punjab, Hussain Jehania Gardazi from Kabirwala, Syed Rafaqat Hussain Shah and Basharat Randhawa from Layyah, Hameed Pitafi from Dera Ghazi Khan, and Khurram Sohail Leghari, Alamdar Qureshi and Basit Sultan Bukhari from Muzaffargarh, on Saturday, announced to join the PTI.
In the current number race suddenly after 10 years, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has gained much significance at both federal and provincial levels despite the fact it has only four seats in the National Assembly and seven seats in the Punjab Assembly
Earlier, an independent candidate from Mandi Bahauddin Sahid Ahmad Khan called on Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi late Friday night and announced to join the PML-Q after which the party has eight seats in Punjab.
Some independent candidates, who preferred not to be named, said that they have strong relations with PML-Q leadership. "At present, senior PML-N leadership is making attractive offers just to form the government in Punjab but we never had comfortable relations with the PML-N. We have no connection with the PTI leadership but have trust in PML-Q leadership as we have worked with them in the past," he said.
Like other political parties, the PML-Q leadership is also very active these days. It has already emerged as the most likely ally of the PTI in the National Assembly and Chaudhry brothers are very hopeful to secure an important role in the province. The name of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is also being pitched for the Punjab Chief Minister, besides PTI contenders Abdul Aleem Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Fawad Chaudhry, but the final decision will be made by the PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
PTI Central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan claims that all 29 independent candidates are most likely to join the PTI. These four independent candidates are the first drops of rain, he said. He highlighted that the party's leadership has given him a task to bring all independents on board.
Following the announcement of the final results by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the independent candidates have time for three days to join any party, otherwise, they will be declared independent candidates in the House. Generally, independent candidates join the party which is in the position to form the government, reports The Express Tribune.