LAHORE - PTI Punjab leadership, which is making preparations to contest the local bodies’ polls alongside pursuing a petition against the undesirable articles of Local Government Act, 2013, has devised a formula to select candidates for the local elections, mayors and district council chairmen.
Insiders in PTI privy to the information regarding the process of finalising local elections candidates told this correspondent on Thursday that district committees in consultation with the district organisations would decide candidates for councilors and union council chairmen and vice chairmen.
The candidates for mayors, district council chairman, deputy mayor and vice chairman in all the 36 districts of Punjab will be decided by the provincial leadership from the candidates’ lists proposed by the party’s regional command in central, north, south and west Punjab. The district committees are likely to be formed after Eidul Azha, as the provincial president has already directed the district leaderships to submit the proposed names for constituting committees before October 12.
The new district committees, which have the daunting task of selecting candidates for the local polls and overseeing the election process would consist of party MNAs, MPAs, ticket-holders, runner ups and other local leaders.
When asked why the party had to formulate a new strategy to select candidates of the local polls, they informed that warring groups among the party ranks, especially the elite camp of Aleem Khan that damaged the party during the general elections had compelled the party leadership to devise a new plan for selection of candidates for the LB polls.
They added that party had made an effort through the district committees to create a balance between the supporters of unity and ideological camp led by Aleem Khan and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, besides other groups for the local elections candidates.
Aleem has almost been out of party’s radar due to his alleged involvement in EOBI scam, according to party leaders. Party leaders said he survived the wrath of party chairman who had almost decided to throw him out of the party due to his alleged involvement in EOBI scam. But, after the intervention of Imran Khan’s close friends, he was given a chance to prove his worth during the LB polls.
When contacted, PTI Punjab president Ijaz Chaudhary, confirmed parts of information regarding selection of candidates for different phases of local elections and said, “The team leaders for metropolitans and districts will be decided by the provincial leadership.”
, while the rest of the decisions will be made by the district committees with the assistance of district leaderships.”
“The district committees will be responsible for the gains and losses of the party in the local bodies’ polls and will be held accountable for their actions in the districts where they fail or cannot give a tough fight to the opponents,” he add.
About differences among party ranks, he claimed, “I don’t see any division, however if there is any, the new mechanism to finalise candidates for the local bodies’ polls will not allow any group to take benefit of his supporters.”
Meanwhile, newly-appointed secretary general, Jehangir Khan Tareen, is working to take complete control over the media wing of the party in Punjab in an effort to ‘blackout’ his opponents from the party ranks.
Aleem Khan who is believed to be close to the new secretary general, is assisting him to fulfill his plan.
According to an old guard among the PTI, Jehangir had made a proposal in a party meeting through his crony to centralise the media wing activities in Punjab.
However, the proposal to centralise the media activities in Punjab is likely to take a final shape after the Eid.
The old guard was of the view that Jehangir was trying to give control of the media wing to his likeminded and nominees of Aleem Khan.