by Zulfiqar Ahmed
WEB DESK: Forthcoming intra-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf elections have divided the Imran Khan’s party into two main camps with old guards trying their best to perpetuate their hold on the key positions but new entrants are also sticking to their position in a bid to introduce change within the PTI. The sources within the PTI disclosed to the Business Recorder that some old party guards have taken it as a serious challenge and they are unwilling to accommodate the new faces.
“Intra-PTI elections will begin on March 20 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and then the entire process will be undertaken in the remaining three provinces. No one will be allowed to impose themselves on the party,” spokesman of the PTI said. He said that the party’s election commission is making all out efforts to ensure free and fair elections in order to avoid any controversies. He expressed hope PTI will succeed in ensuring transparency.
Despite such statements, second intra-PTI elections are not seen as an easy ride from either side because the two camps have also been divided into several sub-groups who are vying for the top slot of provincial secretary general that is a prized slot to get important decision-making position. “The slots of secretary general, president, and other important positions at the provincial level are quite critical, as these people are automatically hand-picked to fill the important positions of chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, etc if a party emerges victorious in general elections,” an official of the PTI shared his view in background discussion with this scribe.
A senior PTI leader in Punjab who wished not be named said that the priority should be given to those who are ideological members of the party instead of obliging the new entrants who joined the PTI after having been rejected by their respective parties, adding ‘Imran Khan is aware of all this as we’re going to hold intra-party elections for the second time’.
“We hope Imran Khan will not prefer the new ones to the old ideological workers of his party. Ther will be a revolt if the senior party leadership make a mistake in awarding-tickets for the nomination,” he said and further defended old as gold saying that the party was full of honest workers but those who joined the party recently, had a tainted past.
He cited that PTI became major opposition party in the largest province due to steadfastness of ideological workers. “Ignoring the genuine party workers, who have made all out efforts to strengthen the party in the stronghold of ruling Sharif Brothers, could weaken its position like it happened in recently held by-elections,” he alerted. He said that this is a real test for the party top leaders especially Imran Khan whether they are serious in making PTI an institution by holding free and fair elections or it is just a routine exercise like other political parties.
Rumours had it newcomers have formed unannounced groups within the party hence the party’s chief elections commissioner Tasneem Noorani to issue a special warning that any such attempt will cost the member his basic party membership. “The Election Commission of the party has noted with concern that meetings are taking place between members in groups, to plan and prepare for the next intra-party elections and these groups are being positioned as alliances/forums etc,” read his warning.
It further said that while meetings to prepare for elections were perfectly in order, giving these gatherings a formal title and dividing the party into panels, are disallowed. “In order to keep the next intra-party elections as harmonious as possible, all are, therefore, advised against forming groups to contest next intra-party elections and projecting them as such. This advice may be followed by disciplinary action if not followed,” it added.
Source: Business Recorder