ISLAMABAD: A delay in awarding party tickets to ‘clean candidates’ on Monday almost caused a split within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, with several party leaders deciding to contest elections independently.
Angry PTI leaders said that a controversy arose on the ticket issue when the PTI parliamentary board failed to finalize a list of some 850 contesting candidates scheduled to be fielded across the country for the May 11 elections.
The board held its first meeting on March 24 to finalize the process of distribution of party tickets to ‘clean candidates’ across the country.
PTI leader and former foreign minister Aseff Ahmed Ali was the first one who announced to contest elections from NA-193 and NA-140 as an independent candidate, a member of party’s parliamentary board stated.
Similarly, former Senator Jamal Leghari and ex-MNA Owais Leghari followed suit, he added. Furthermore, PTI leader Sikandar Bosan will also try his luck as an independent candidate in Multan.
Meanwhile, a member of the parliamentary board demanded that Imran intervene to review the decision of the board and take disgruntled workers into confidence. He claimed that PTI stalwarts Saifullah Niazi, Arif Alvi and Ahmed Jawed were also unhappy with the parliamentary board’s performance.
Assef Ahmed claimed PTI Chairman Imran Khan failed to fulfill his promise of awarding tickets to true party stalwarts.
“We have serious reservations over the decision of the parliamentary committee,” he said.
However, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, who also filed his nomination papers in the same constituencies as Ahmed, not only expressed his full trust in the PTI top leadership but also denied allegations that he was opposing Ahmed. “The party is awarding tickets on merit,” he stated.
PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood said a final decision on awarding tickets to ‘clean candidates’ would be taken on April 7. PTI central leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani said that they have finalized awarding of party tickets in K-P and would take up Baluchistan late at night.