PML- Q severs seat adjustment with PML-N

LAHORE   -  In a significant turn of events preceding the February 8 elections, the PML-Q, led by Ch Shujat Hussain, has opted not to engage in seat adjust­ments with the PML-N, a party aiming for its fourth stint in power.

The decision stems from the PML-N’s move to field candidates against the PML-Q, prompting the Q-league to reevaluate its strat­egy in an emergency meeting held under the chairmanship of PML-Q President Ch Shujat Hussain on Friday.

During the meet­ing, PML-Q leaders ex­pressed their concern over the issuance of tickets by the PML-N to candidates who would be contesting against their own. Consequently, a unanimous decision was reached not to engage in seat adjustments with the PML-N. A party spokes­man emphasized that the PML-Q, committed to the country’s development and prosperity, would not com­promise its principles for personal gain. “The PML-Q will not make seat adjust­ments with the PML-N for personal gain,” the spokes­man asserted, highlight­ing the party’s refusal to succumb to what they per­ceived as PML-N’s hypoc­risy and double standards. He further stated that the PML-Q, led by Ch Shujat Hussain, has a history of prioritizing the nation’s well-being over individual interests, and this commit­ment remains unwavering. Ch Salik Hussain, express­ing his stance after the meeting, revealed that the PML-N had issued tickets against him and his broth­er Chaudhry Shafi Hussain from Gujarat. In a post on X, Ch Salik Hussain conveyed their readiness to contest without seat adjustments. He emphasized the PML-Q’s dedication to standing with its committed candi­dates, even if the PML-N chose to contest against them. The message was clear: they were prepared for a face-off in the electoral arena. The PML-N has field­ed eight candidates in Gu­jrat district, three against National Assembly seats and five for the provincial legislature. The Nation­al Assembly candidates of PML-N include Chaudhry Abid Raza (NA-62), Nawab­zada Ghazanfar Ali Gul (NA-63), and Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed Abbas Siddhu (NA-65). Concurrently, those vy­ing for provincial constit­uencies are Muhammad Hanif Malik (PP-27), Shab­bir Ahmed (PP-28), Nawab­zada Haider Mehdi (PP-29), Major (retd) Moin Nawaz Warraich (PP-30), Moham­mad Ali (PP-33), and Mian Tariq Mehmood (PP-34). According to PML-Q sourc­es, Ch Shujat had expressed a desire for seat adjust­ments on various seats be­yond those secured in the 2018 elections. These seats comprised four National Assembly and eight provin­cial assembly positions. No­tably, PML-Q leaders Salik, Monis Elahi, Hussain Ela­hi, and Tariq Bashir Chee­ma achieved success in the National Assembly constit­uencies. It’s noteworthy that the PML-N had initial­ly offered seat adjustments to the PML-Q limited to its main leadership, exclud­ing candidates not affiliat­ed with the Shujat family. Ch Salik Hussain clarified that such partial seat ad­justments were unaccept­able to them, underlining the importance of a more comprehensive and inclu­sive approach. The reper­cussions of the PML-Q’s decision are significant. If the party proceeds into the elections without seat ad­justments and manages to secure three to four Na­tional Assembly seats along with an increased number of provincial seats, it could potentially disadvantage the PML-N. This becomes crucial in scenarios where a few votes make a signifi­cant impact, especially in a hung parliament. The PPP might leverage this situa­tion post-election, capital­izing on the value of even two to three votes in the event of a closely contested political scenario.