PML(N) braces for elections

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IN the fast-changing political scenario, the PML(N), on Friday, shunned its apologetic attitude towards dissolution of provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP, throwing down a gauntlet to PTI to do so and elections would be held in the two provinces in 90 days as envisaged in the Constitution.

Addressing a news conference, Interior Minister and President of PML(N) Punjab Rana Sanaullah went to the extent of urging PTI leader Imran Khan to stop making lame excuses that he would dissolve the assemblies after December 20 and have courage to dissolve them immediately.

The clear position adopted by PML(N) on the issue of dissolution of the provincial assemblies is a clear message that the party was mentally and physically prepared to brace for the eventuality of elections in the two provinces and also that there would be no general election as is being visualized by the PTI leadership.

The challenge thrown by PML(N) doesn’t seem to be a hollow claim as, like PTI, the party too has embarked upon an exercise at the instance of Mian Nawaz Sharif to short-list candidates for provincial elections.

The party has divided nine divisions of Punjab in three groups and formed committees to nominate at least two suitable candidates in each constituency of the Punjab Assembly with directions to complete the task within a fortnight.

It is also repeatedly being asserted that Mian Nawaz Sharif is returning shortly to lead the party in elections and preparations to accord him a rousing welcome have also been initiated.

The remarks of the Interior Minister that Ch Pervez Elahi could be considered for the office of the Chief Minister in the new set-up is also meaningful in the backdrop of the preference publicly expressed by the incumbent CM to delay dissolution of the assembly and meeting of former President Asif Ali Zardari with PML(Q) leader Ch Shujaat Hussain.

Given the dismal performance of PML(N) in two by-elections, the confidence being demonstrated by it over the issue of elections for the Punjab Assembly is not without a reason. It would be, therefore, interesting to see which way things settle down in coming weeks.