In Lahore by-elections Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz was able to secure NA-122 seat with a slight margin but lost PP-147 seat to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and NA-144 seat in Okara.
Although party leaders celebrated victory in NA-122 with fierce speeches against PTI’s allegation of rigging, but rational approach should make them realize they are losing ground in Lahore. This must be a cause of concern for party leadership.
According to reports prior to leaving for United States for official visit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a meeting with senior party leaders including his brother shehbaz sharif Chief Minister Punjab to review failing to support the campaigns of all their three candidates in these constituencies.
But it seems party leadership has other tasks to look at on priority basis, deep divisions within the party at the top level needs to be address. Defence, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif said in a TV program that he is not in contact from last three years with Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Aki Khan. Such statements in the media have exposed the PML-N as a house divided. To add to the party’s troubles, the rival factions of Punjab Minister of Law Rana Sanaullah and Chaudhry Sher Ali are publicly at daggers drawn over the impending local bodies elections, not the least because of a tussle over the mayor’s slot in Faisalabad.
It has been witnessed that even after halfway through its tenure PMLN has not able to do anything substantial to fulfill their promises of general elections 2013 to eradicate electricity shortfall.
Rifts in party would make this job more difficult. Despite being in power for decades party is lacking democratic norms in the party, rifts among senior members has exposed it. If party leadership would not be able to remove rifts in the party, it would reflect in a negative manner on the outcome of upcoming local body elections in Punjab.
Local bodies elections are around the corner, internal rifts of PML-N would cast negative impact on the results.