PP-127 defeat shatters Qureshi's dream of becoming Punjab CM

PP-127 defeat shatters Qureshi's dream of becoming Punjab CM

MULTAN: The defeat of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the provincial assembly constituency PP-127 has shattered his dream of becoming Punjab chief minister in case his party forms government in the largest province.

Mr Qureshi was defeated by an independent candidate, Salman Naeem, who was once his close ally.

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According to unofficial results, Mr Naeem bagged 35,294 votes against Mr Qureshi’s 31,716.

During his campaign, Mr Qureshi has reportedly been telling his supporters from PP-127 that he would prefer the slot of chief minister after winning the seat.

Mr Naeem, is known for his charitable works in the constituency he won in his first election as an independent candidate after being denied PTI ticket.

According to sources, the party refused ticket to Mr Naeem because the PTI chairman had decided to contest the election from the constituency.

They say that Mr Naeem was more suitable for the constituency because he had been working there long before Mr Qureshi entered the arena using his position in the PTI. Mr Naeem has been assured of the party ticket for PP-127 by none other than Mr Qureshi himself, they add.

Rana Abdul Jabbar had won the 2013 election from the constituency on a PTI ticket. He wanted to contest 2018 poll from the constituency but the party chairman Imran Khan left the final decision to Mr Qureshi who was looking for a suitable provincial constituency from himself.

Disappointed by Mr Qureshi’s decision to contest from PP-127, young Naeem decided to enter the arena as an independent candidate.

According to PTI circles, Mr Qureshi could have opted to go for any of the provincial assembly seats falling under NA-157, his previous constituency, but he avoided to do so to save the vote bank of his son Zain Hussain Qureshi who was contesting election for the first time from there.

Thus, though Mr Qureshi succeeded in getting his son elected from NA-157, his own chances of entering the Punjab Assembly and eventually becoming chief minister were doomed.