Momentum of PTI’s campaign causes worry for PML-N

PTI’s campaign

Elections for Six national and provincial seats

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) appears to have no choice but to turn to its party vice president and daughter of the party’s supreme leader, Maryam Nawaz, to conduct crucial canvassing ahead of upcoming elections for six national and provincial seats in light of the growing momentum being generated by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). 

On September 11, there will be by-elections for the NA-157 (Multan) seat in the National Assembly. 

On September 25, there will be by-elections for the NA-108 (Faisalabad) and NA-118 (Nankana Sahib) seats. On September 11, by-elections will be held in the province’s PP-139 (Sheikhupura) and PP-241 (Bahawalnagar) constituencies, while PP-209 (Khanewal) will hold voting on October 2. 

Leading the election campaign

The PML-N leadership appears to be far less excited about leading the election campaign in these six constituencies after suffering an embarrassing setback in the by-elections on 15 Punjab Assembly seats in July that cost the party the position of the chief minister. 

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According to reports, the party candidates running for five of the six seats are dissatisfied with the leadership because no “big” rally featuring a senior party official was held in their districts. They believe that because of the PTI leader’s increased popularity, they need the support of their leadership in order to compete effectively against him. 

Nawaz Sharif instructed Maryam Nawaz

According to a party insider, Quaid Nawaz Sharif instructed his daughter Maryam to hold at least a few rallies prior to the by-elections for the three NA seats and as many Punjab Assembly seats after hearing the candidates’ complaints. According to him, Maryam has not yet shown any interest in the next elections despite organising and addressing stunning demonstrations for the July 17 by-elections for 20 PA seats. 

Accordingly, she is likely to hold some rallies in these constituencies, starting from PP-241 on Thursday, according to the insider, who also noted that former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz was keeping a low profile despite having been tasked with handling a number of issues the party candidates faced in the by-elections. 

A PML-N representative from Punjab asked why the party’s leadership hadn’t taken the by-elections seriously. The PML-N cannot afford to lose these elections since a loss would show that Imran Khan is more powerful than the 13-party coalition in power. Imagine who would run for PML-N tickets in Punjab in such a situation. He encouraged the leadership to put all of their efforts into guaranteeing a victory.

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