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Split in PML-N vote bank surfaces


Jan 25, 2012
LAHORE: Contrary to Sharif brothers’ claims that neither Asif Ali Zardari nor Imran Khan can jointly or individually divide the PML-N vote bank, the split has already occurred to some degree in certain constituencies, courtesy to party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif’s over-dependence on those office-bearers who are not interested in seeing senior Sharif’s image of a good promise-keeper intact, say some PML-N insiders.

Talking to ‘The News’ confidentially here on Thursday some old loyalists of Muslim League in general and of Sharifs in particular have started conveying depressing signals over what they describe as visible split in their vote bank.

The process of split, according to these sources, has already begun, courtesy to the conflict of opinion prevailing in the higher echelons of PML-N where decisions to award tickets to different people were made.

The ticket-awarding, according to these sources, has been done by way of wrong assessments or for ulterior motives. Explaining first the wrong assessment factor, the sources have quoted some examples, for instance, the award of ticket in Narowal and surrounding areas to one-time Musharraf loyalist Daniyal Aziz and to a politically unknown figure Maulvi Ilyas as against a strong ‘electable’ or ‘hopeful’ Dr Naimat Ali Javed, the nuclear scientist, whose son Dr Tahir Ali Javed of Unification Bloc fame, has been hitherto known among Muslim Leaguers as a “saviour of PML-N”. The sources claim that with the party support, Dr Naimat Ali Javed could fetch sizeable number of votes in the forthcoming elections meaning thereby that his own public service record plus PML-N support could have possibly won him a seat in the legislature.

Moreover, besides the election victory, the image of N-League’s top leaders or for that matter Mian Nawaz Sharif, would have remained better that these leaders are good at keeping their word. In general elections, good image of senior leader matters a lot, opine the sources further.

Now, according to the sources, chances of victory of the neo-loyalist N-Leaguer are fifty-fifty. When the sources were reminded of many such loyalty shifts in a number of political parties, the sources replied PML-N, particularly its top leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif’s main image is that of a leader who keeps his pledges. By managing the award of tickets to neo-loyalists in a party whose popularity graph was at its zenith, the ‘politburo’ responsible for these erroneous decisions, has not only conveyed a signal of backtracking on pledges to the hitherto committed N-Leaguers but also to their voters whose opinion would be definitely divided because of this single fact.

This division at the voters’ level, though in limited number of constituencies is going to make difference to the advantage of contending parties especially PTI that might benefit considerably in case the divided voters decide to go for ‘other options’. Already, parties of the PTI ilk are depending on the dormant, undecided voter whose support at the eleventh hour might turn the tables in favour or against any party. The sources have also quoted the example of Malik Asif from Attock who bagged less than 25 thousand votes during 2007 elections. Awarding of ticket to such an inconspicuous candidate is not understandable, say the sources.

Similar complaints have been heard from other constituencies where the ‘electability syndrome’ has come into play driven by both the wrong assessments and vested interests.

Explaining the latter factor, the sources said that certain elements in well-ensconced positions in the PMLN are concerned only about their personal grandeur and success and they don’t look beyond their narrow interests.

When these points were discussed with a personal aide of Mian Nawaz Sharif, possessing the background of a very senior civil servant, the latter told ‘The News’ during a brief talk the same day, on the condition of anonymity, that the PML-N leadership has tried in all earnest to award tickets on case to case basis. In some constituencies, there were certain compulsions that led to the award of tickets to ‘neo-loyalists’ like Daniyal Aziz. The Sharif aide explained that in this particular case, the ‘electability’ factor was thrashed and it was after proper evaluation that the ticket was awarded to a former Musharraf loyalist. The other reason was that Dr Tahir Ali Javed could not be accommodated due to dual nationality reason.

Courtesy: The News

Split in PML-N vote bank surfaces - thenews.com.pk

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