Home Global Village Incumbent and potential lawmakers continue to ditch PML-N for PTI

Incumbent and potential lawmakers continue to ditch PML-N for PTI

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The Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) is a party on the decline as more and more potential winners and exiting legislators are ditching the party. On Wednesday, one of the key PML-N leaders and lawyer Ashraf Gujjar from the capital city rendered his resignation over the party’s anti-state and anti-institutional rhetoric.

In his resignation, he lambasted the ‘House of Nawaz’ over mega corruption, alleged money laundering to foreign countries to acquire properties worth billions of rupee and failing to voice concerns over the plight of innocent Muslims facing atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Gujjar was a PML-N candidate from NA-48, where he lost by 6,887 votes against the PTI’s Asad Umar. The seat was vacated by maverick Javed Hashmi who had defeated a PML-N’s candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan by a healthy margin of 21,522 votes in the 2013 general elections.

On May 16, another most influential PML-N leader Sardar Ghulam Abbas quit the party to go independent. Sardar joined the party only in September 2016, much to the opposition of the elected members of PML-N from the region, including MNA Tahir Iqbal, MNA Sardar Mumtaz Tamman, and MPA Zulifqar Ali Dullah.

The confrontational politics of Nawaz against institutions-military establishment and judiciary has made it clear that security establishment is not favoring PML-N as it apparently did in the 2013 general elections.

Sardar is considered a kingpin in the region and  elected twice by the district Nazim. If the rumors are to be believed, whichever candidate receives the blessings of the Sardar Group can win the elections. Sardar’s relationships with the party leadership had gone sour lately and it was expected that his group might not get the party tickets to contest the election on the PML-N platform.

Nevertheless, he also accused Nawaz of playing with the sentiments of the people of the country in his anti-state interview, which makes him indefensible among his constituents. Further to this, other high profile figures are abandoning the Shehbaz led party after the disgraced former Prime Minister and Party’s Supreme leader Nawaz Sharif’s suicidal revelations, where he claimed that Pakistan was responsible for 2008 Mumbai attacks. Even prior to the Nawaz’s infamous interview, his confrontation against judiciary and military establishment had convinced people to ditch PML-N for PTI and PPP.

Read more: More PML-N lawmakers leaving the party piles the pressure on Sharif…

Legislators Continue to Desert PML-N

The dissolution of the PML-N continues at a staggering rate. Eight PML-N lawmakers have abandoned the Shahbaz led the party to join Imran Khan’s PTI and the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on May 10.

PTI is in demand this election season. Politicians, particularly in Punjab, are joining PTI at an extraordinarily high rate. Imran Khan’s official Facebook page features many such high-profile current and ex-legislators abandoning the ruling PML-N to joining PTI. Apparently, journalists have stopped taking account of the number of people entering the much-favored Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI), across the country.

Gujjar was a PML-N candidate from NA-48, where he lost by 6,887 votes against the PTI’s Asad Umar. The seat was vacated by maverick Javed Hashmi who had defeated a PML-N’s candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan by a healthy margin of 21,522 votes in the 2013 general elections.

MNA Raza Hayat Harraj from Khanewal and Rana Umar Nazir Khan from Gujranwala and the members of Punjab Assembly Abdul Razzaq Khan Niazi from Khanewal and MPA Raheela Yahya Munawar, have formally announced to join the PTI after a meeting with Imran Khan at his Banigala residence on May 10.

Read more: Turncoats continue to desert PML-N

JPSM merged with PTI

On May 09, in a bid to strengthen South Punjab, the Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz (JPSM) members comprising of former PML-N leaders, merged with PTI. The disgruntled members of the PML-N demanded a separate province and joined PTI on a pre-condition that states that the PTI will take practical and tangible steps for the creation of south Punjab as a separate province within 100 days after winning the next elections.

The group accused the incumbent government of PML-N of ignoring the rights of the people in Southern Punjab. PTI’s senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen has played a central role in persuading the JPSM members to join PTI. He, along with Khusro Bakhtiar, reportedly purchased Hamza Sugar Mills for Rs27 billion last month beating a Rs23 billion bid from Chaudhry Munir, a relative of Maryam Nawaz.

Read more: Has LHC Gone Soft On Sharifs by Placing Names Of Six…

Dissolution of PML-N

The dissolution process of the PML-N, though started a while ago, has recently taken off more vigorously. This ongoing streak of disgruntled politicians has continued for some time now. On May 10, the former MNA Ghulam Haider Thind and former MPA and district Nazim from Layyah, and Malik Asad from Lahore also joined PTI.

Rana Nazir and family, from Kamonki, met Khan and announced to join the party in the coming days. The PTI chief met Pir Nizamudeen Jami  (Golra Shareef Darbar) at his residence, who ensured Khan of their support in the 2018 general elections. On May 08, the PML-N Sindh delegation led by Sardar Aslam Abro met Imran Khan and announced joining PTI as well.

Moreover, the PML-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar has also joined PTI citing PML-N’s foul language and confrontational politics against the judiciary and institutions as the reason.  Last year, a number of lawmakers along with their workers joined PTI. Among them was the former CM Sindh Liaquat Jatoi, who deserted the PML-N to join PTI.

PTI is in demand this election season. Politicians, particularly in Punjab, are joining PTI at an extraordinarily high rate. Imran Khan’s official Facebook page features many such high-profile current and ex-legislators abandoning the ruling PML-N to joining PTI.

A well known political ally of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, one of the founding member of PPP, and seasoned politician from PPP Ghulam Mustafa Khar also decided to end his long association with the PPP for PTI. Similarly, a close aide of the Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari Noor Alam joined PTI in May 2017. Moreover, PPP’s Babar Awan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Nazar Gondal also joined the PTI last year.

In February, the PML-N’s member National Assembly (NA) Mian Tariq Mahmood and Member Provincial Assembly Mian Mazhar from Gujranwala joined PTI. On March 2, Dr. Nisar Jatt from Faisalabad left his party along with lower tier leadership to join hands with PTI.

Read more: PML-N lawmaker threatens FIR against Chief Justice

Many legislators from Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan parted ways with the ruling party last month, including Bilal Virk, a member of NA from Nankana Sahib, who announced he was joining the rival PTI on March 6.

Moreover, three PML-N MNAs from Balochistan – Khalid Magsi, Jam Kamal, and Mir Dostain Khan Domki –  also announced their departure from the ruling party. They accused the PML-N of failing to pay attention to the rudimentary requirements of the province.

More then 22-legislators on brink of leaving PML-N

Some media pundits and speculators believe that more than 22-legislators are further on the brink of leaving PML-N. Senior PTI leader, Shah Mehmood Qureshi is handling their possible entry into PTI. In Pakistan’s fragile democracy, the backing of all-powerful military establishment plays a crucial rule in political engineering. Recently, it may have declined to some extent but remains a norm benchmark to ensure a victory.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif advises PML-N leaders to stay firm on “vote ko…

The confrontational politics of Nawaz against institutions-military establishment and judiciary has made it clear that security establishment is not favoring PML-N as it apparently did in the 2013 general elections.

The legislators are aware of the fact that the tide is not in PML-N’s favor amid grave political and legal challenges facing Nawaz. PTI is the most favored option in the given circumstances for legislators, ahead of 2018 general elections. However, PTI must keep in mind that the turncoats entering the party deserted many parties before and can replicate the same within the case of non-performance in the 2018 general elections.

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