Published On:Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Posted by CDS

Undeclared PTI-PML-Q Electoral 'Wedlock'

CHAKWAL: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) have entered into an electoral “wedlock” called seat adjustment without a formal announcement or solemnisation.

This is one of the political parties or groups that the PTI has preferred for such arrangement, which is mainly confined to Punjab. In Sindh, it has worked out a loose alliance with Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), which has challenged the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in its bastion of power.
The PTI-PML-Q “wedding” is undeclared — the partners have been shy of making it public; no formal meeting of the Chaudhrys of Gujrat – Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi - and PTI Chairman Imran Khan or his confidants is known to have been held, hence no photo-op and no joint presser organised. It has been kept as a closely guarded secret.
Their unarticulated cooperation in the 2018 elections apart, a large number of PML-Q leaders left it one by one to associate themselves with the PTI. But their present collaboration shows that this migration did not cause any bitterness and consternation to the PML-Q. If it was triggered at one point as the PML-Q had publicly voiced it during the exodus, it did not come in its way to forge the electoral alliance.
The major beneficiaries of this agreement are the Chaudhrys, but the PTI is also going to gain in some constituencies of Gujrat. The PTI has not fielded candidates either against the Chaudhrys and a couple of their close associates in Gujrat, Bahawalpur and Chakwal. Similarly, the PML-Q has not put up its candidates in certain constituencies. However, the PML-Q, which had won the 2002 general elections during Pervez Musharraf’s rule, hasn’t sponsored any respectable number of contestants even in Punjab, where it claims to have its main sway.
The PTI has not given tickets to its leaders in two National Assembly constituencies of Gujrat – NA-68 and NA-69 – and NA-65 of Chakwal and is supporting Pervaiz Elahi in the contest for two federal seats and another Chaudhry’s relative in the third constituency.
Likewise, the PTI has not fielded its contender in NA-172 Bahawalpur where PML-Q leader Tariq Bashir Cheema is contesting. It has also not pitched its representative against PML-Zia chief Ijazul Haq in NA-169 Bahawalnagar as part of its seat adjustment with the one-man party.
Pervaiz Elahi’s son Moonis Elahi has filed papers for a Punjab Assembly seat in Bahawalpur. Besides, Hussain Elahi, son of Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain, who is younger brother of Shujaat Hussain, is contesting a national seat in Gujrat.
Another confidante of the Chaudhrys, Raja Basharat, has been given the PTI ticket for PP-14 Rawalpindi. He announced later that he has not joined the PTI and will remain with the PML-Q. 
To return the favour, the PML-Q has not sponsored candidates in two Gujrat constituencies - NA-70 Lala Musa that PPP stalwart Qamar Zaman Kaira is aspiring, and NA-71 Sarai Alamgir-Kotla. The Chaudhrys have influence in these constituencies.
It will be seen on the polling day, July 25, whether the PTI voters will extend whole-hearted support to the Chaudhrys and vice versa. Reports of confusion and tension among PTI workers whether to cast their votes for the Chaudhry have emerged.
However, the Chaudhrys have always demonstrated that they have a considerable electoral say in Gujrat. Even in highly tough elections, they have been winning a couple of seats from their native city.
The PML-Q was midwifed by Musharraf by taking away a major chunk of electables of the PML-N. Under his umbrella, it had won the 2002 polls and ruled for five years. But in the subsequent general elections, it stood decimated. Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, who had stood with it for years, also recently left it and joined the PTI, which has given him ticket from Faisalabad.

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Posted by CDS on July 03, 2018. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By CDS on July 03, 2018. Filed under . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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