Counting numbers: PTI election to be completed by February 12

Friday, February 8th, 2013 8:00:26 by


The Ideology Group led by Mian Mehmoodur Resheed claimed on Thursday to have swept south Punjab in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf’s intra-party elections held this week.

The party elections were completed in Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur divisions on February 6 and are scheduled in Multan for today (Friday), a senior party officer said.

Ijaz Chaudhry, a candidate fielded by the Ideology Group to head the party in Punjab, was hopeful that the group would win in Multan too.

The elections in the Punjab began on February 2. They are being held to elect members at the union council level. The process is scheduled to be completed by February 12 in Lahore district. The party workers registered with the Election Commission have been told to elect 13 members at the union council level (14 where a minority member is required to be elected). The union council members are the electoral college to elect party office bearers.

Three groups emerged after the elections were announced: the Ahsan Rasheed led Unity Group, the Ideology Group led by Mian Mehmoodur Rashid and the Tsunami Change, headed by Saloni Bukhari.

A senior party officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Unity Group had put forward Ashan Rasheed for Punjab chapter president while Tsunami Change Group was not planning on contesting elections at the provincial level.

The Unity Group has the support of real estate tycoon Abdul Aleem Khan. Khan has attracted many including Umer Cheema, Hammaad Azhar, Mian Haamed Meraj, Jamshed Cheema, Mansha Sindhu, Dr Zaraq, Sardar Arif Rasheed and Abdul Rasheed Bhatti to the party. Most acolytes of the group have no political grooming but have had common business interests with Khan. This group also enjoys the support of PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The Ideology group has the support of Zahir Abbas Khokhar, Asghar Gujjar, Dr Atifuddin, Shabbir Sail, Dr Yasmin Rashid and Ejaz Chaudhary. PTI President Javed Hashmi is also supporting this group.

Tsunami Change Group includes the likes of Ibrarul Haq, Waleed Iqbal and Umer Zaheer Mir. Party sources said the group was not interested in contesting the Punjab leadership.

Bokhari said they were fielding Farooq Amjad Mir for Lahore president.

Party elections in three divisions, comprising 11 districts, are scheduled to be completed today (Friday). There are 975 union councils in these districts. Election has been completed in seven districts. The Ideology Group claims to have a 95% success rate, said a senior party member.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2013.

Lahore News Sources -2

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