The PML-N has finally announced launching of its election campaign across the country from Jan 15, the day it is going to put out its manifesto.

The party’s announcement came on Wednesday when PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Lahore taunted the Sharifs for their failure to launch polls campaign and field its candidates.

“The PML-N will launch the election campaign in the country from Jan 15 under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif,” PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah said on X.

The PML-N is all set to bring out its manifesto, for which it created much hype, on Jan 15.

For the last two months the PML-N’s over 30 different sub-committees have been sitting together to prepare the party’s election manifesto. The delay in preparation of the manifesto has put a question mark on the ability of the committees’ chief Senator Irfan Siddiqui for his failure to effectively coordinate with committees to get the job done at the earliest.

“Nawaz Sharif wants a manifesto which has a mass appeal, different from other parties’ manifesto, besides it shows him a democrat who believes in the power of vote,” a party insider told Dawn.

Nawaz Sharif had been perturbed for his party being labelled as the ‘favourite’ of the establishment, an impression he desperately wanted to dispell during the election campaign which will kick off next week, he added.

Regarding problems over award of tickets, Mr Sanaullah claimed there had been no differences in the party over award of tickets. However, he said, consultation was under way (over the tickets issue) in some constituencies.

He further said the PML-N would announce award of tickets in a day or two. “The mandatory assessment has been done on party tickets; the president’s office will issue the list shortly.”

On the possibility of delay in polls, Mr Sanaullah said the PML-N had made it clear that his party was not in favour of delay in elections. “We want free and fair elections on time.”

Delay in the launch of polls campaign is primarily caused by the PML-N’s long deliberations in ticket distribution and seat adjustment with the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) and PML-Q.

Besides, the party showed no rush in this regard as the confidence is apparently due to the complacency for having a “good equation” with the powerful quarters.

On the other hand, the PPP is running an aggressive campaign. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has been in Lahore for over a week, openly campaigning in the city’s NA-127 constituency and calling out the Sharifs almost daily.

With thanks: Dawn