LAHORE - While the local bodies’ polls in the cantonment boards are going to be held on November 3 this year, Ideological and Unity groups in PTI are seen at daggers drawn to get maximum share in the party tickets for 20 union councils of the provincial capital’s cantonment board.
The two traditional rivals among the PTI ranks emerged during the intra-party polls as Ideological and Unity groups. They faced each other in the intra-party polls as well as at the time of distribution of tickets for the General Elections 2013. Both the camps are once again at daggers drawn for the tickets of the local bodies’ elections starting from cantonment boards.
The cantonment board comprises 20 union councils – 10 UCs fall under the Lahore Cantonment Board limits and the remaining 10 under the Walton Cantonment Board limits.
The Ideological Group is led by Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, now the Punjab Assembly opposition leader, and Unity Group is headed by City chapter president Aleem Khan.
Sources in the PTI, privy to beginning of the fresh tussle between Mehmood and Aleem camps over the party tickets, told this reporter on Wednesday that Unity Group had high stakes in the cantonment board politics as many of the members of this camp had land developing business interests in the limits of the Cantonment and they would take all measures to grab maximum share of the tickets for the cantonment board polls.
The case of Ideological Group is opposite to their rivals as they desire to get maximum share of the party tickets to further strengthen their grip over the provincial capital to completely sideline the City chapter leadership.
Sources said, keeping in view the symbolic importance of getting political share in the provincial capital, PTI Chairman Imran Khan is likely to decide the tickets for cantonment board local elections as well as for similar polls in other parts of the city later.
A senior founding leader of the party said both the camps had damaged the party in their own ways, adding one engaged in the real estate business had caused more damage to the party than that led by so-called ideological cadres.
He maintained that it was the feel among the party that the Unity camp which was leading the party in the general polls for the provincial capital had damaged the party badly due to its unwise and poor management. Moreover, the tussle between the Ideological and Unity groups also dented the PTI boat.
He remarked that Aleem who leads the land developing group is changing his foot soldiers to pose a new challenge to Mehmood’s camp. He claimed that Farrukh Javed Moon who is believed to be a close aide of Aleem and handles his wheeling and dealing to lure ‘meaningful’ party men into the Unity camp has been appointed secretary information of the city chapter by him as part of his move to field his confidants for a face-off with his rival Ideological camp for local bodies’ ticket share.
The same leader maintained that Farrukh is known among the party circles for spending his own funds in addition to the money of his boss to on ‘extraordinary activities’ of the ‘target party members’ to entice the same into the Unity camp.
About the Ideological camp, he remarked that the founding party members were also not happy over the conduct of the leaders of this camp, especially after they reached the assemblies.
However, he added, “They consider Ideological camp as a lesser evil while comparing them with the Unity camp.”
The founding party leader remarked that the old guards might form a third group in the party under the name of “Haqiqi” in an effort to revive the real PTI.