PTI dissidents ready to contest on PML-N ticket

Islamabad, April 10 ( |) The MPA belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Jahangir Khan Tareen group, Malik Nouman Ahmad Langrial, said that he was ready to contest the by-polls after Punjab chief minister’s election on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) ticket, Express Tribune reported on Sunday. Langrial said that he was extremely happy with the hospitality shown by the PML-N and that they would be happy to contest on their ticket if it was offered to them. He said that they had not joined the PML-N for any incentive. “We just want to save the country from the wrath of the PTI.” He further said that the PTI has no political future, because it was a party which after coming to power abandoned those who had given their blood and sweat for it and relied on “parachuters” as it lacked vision and its leadership the ability to trust. Another defecting MPA of the ruling party, Muhammad Salman, said that there was a legal barrier, and to his understanding that would not allow the PTI to de-seat them. He said that if over a certain number of parliamentarians decided to form a bloc, it becomes a forward bloc, and hence can’t be termed as defection. Secondly, he added, for the PTI to de-seat them, it “will have to prove that we disobeyed the parliamentary leader’s instructions, which we don’t have at the moment”. A senior lawyer Abdullah Malik said that no such provision (forward bloc) exists after the implementation of the 18th Amendment adding that even if the PTI had them de-seated, they would contest the elections on the PML-N ticket. On whether the PML-N had agreed to give all defecting MPAs a ticket, Salman said that there may be issues on two to three seats, but exuded confidence that a majority of the defecting MPAs would get the PML-N ticket. Langrial and Salman are among over two dozen defecting MPAs, who have extended their support to PML-N candidate Hamza Shehbaz for the Punjab chief minister’s slot. ACL1219

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