ABBOTTABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s central leadership is in a fix over award of ticket on National Assembly constituency of NA-15 as its two stalwarts, former adviser to the prime minister Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan and former NA deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, are adamant to contest the election from the constituency.
PML-N insiders revealed on Sunday that hectic efforts were made by the loyalists of both the central leaders to sort out the matter but to no avail.
They said several jirgas were held to reconcile the two leaders as they are also the members of the parliamentary board of PML-N nominated by party president Shahbaz Sharif to award tickets in KP.
While Javed Abbasi is said to have openly announced that if he was not awarded the ticket, he would contest the elections as an independent, Mahtab Ahmad has adopted a wait-and-see policy.
Nonetheless, both the leaders have already obtained papers for NA-15 as Monday is the last date for filing nomination papers.
On the other hand, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has awarded the ticket for NA-15 to Ali Asghar Khan, younger brother of late Omer Asghar Khan. He got preference over the former deputy speaker of National Assembly Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob, who claims that he was awarded ticket as per the list published on website of PTI, but later the ticket was given to Ali Asghar.
It may be recalled that Ali Asghar lost to Sardar Mohammad Fareed of PML-N in the by-election on PK-36. He could not get support of then KP chief minister Pervez Khattak due to rift in the party.
Political observers say if Javed Abbasi and Sardar Mahtab contest the election from the NA-15 constituency with Ali Asghar of PTI also in the fray then keeping the support of the tribe of Sardar Yaqoob and backing of some PTI district councillors, he has an edge over all the candidates as votes of PML-N would be divided and some votes would also go to MMA and other parties which can damage the vote bank of PML-N, and to some extent that of PTI.
Meanwhile, former Abbottabad district nazim Ali Khan Jadoon, who has been awarded ticket for NA-16, is in a comfortable position with the absence of any major challenge from his rival parties. And, if PML-N fails to field any heavyweight for the National Assembly seat, his win is certain, say the political pundits.