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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran on Monday took notice of his party’s crushing defeat as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had to face a setback in local government elections in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with opposition party candidates managing to defeat the ruling party nominees in most areas including the provincial capital.

The sources privy to the development told Business Recorder that the “humiliating defeat” came no less than a shock to the prime minister who was optimistic that his party would clean sweep like it did in 2018 general elections.

They said that the prime minister has summoned Chief Minister Mehmood Khan along with some other local leaders who failed to garner votes for the PTI candidates in their respective areas to explain the reason behind the upset.

According to some senior party leaders who declined to be named, the major reason behind the defeat for the party is skyrocketing inflation, increase in prices of petroleum products coupled with other issues.

A senior PTI leader, who wished not to be named, said that the prime minister had been informed well in time that the issue of inflation could prove to be disastrous for the party not only in LG election but in 2023 general elections.

But the prime minister, he added, was not ready to realise the gravity of the situation, saying people cast vote for “ideology” but it turned out to be completely opposite in the local government elections.

He said that the situation could be even worse in the next phase as well as in 2023 election if the government failed to control inflation, as there is no other solution to win the elections in a country such as Pakistan.

“Mere slogans are not going to work as people want bread on the table, which to be honest is becoming quite difficult for the masses. We should control inflation, if we want to win the polls,” he declared.

With results continue to come from all over the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the local government elections held in 17 districts, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) is ahead with 19 seats followed by PTI 14, Independent eight, ANP eight, the PML-N three, the PPP one, and the JI two.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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