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Overconfidence cost us the NA-154 by-election, says Ali Tareen

LODHRAN: In his first interview after the NA-154 defeat, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Tareen on Wednesday said that overconfidence among workers cost his party the all important by-election in Lodhran, a PTI stronghold.

Ali Tareen lost the NA-154 by-polls to PML-N’s Peer Iqbal Shah, an election which was being considered a litmus test for both the parties in the build-up to the upcoming general elections.

“Everyone,  including workers and our team members, were sure that we will sweep this election, they (the workers) even used to greet us in advance,” Ali Tareen told ARY News anchor Waseem Badami during a talk-show.

About the “dynastic politics” criticism, Ali maintained that PTI’s regional setup in Lodhran unanimously elected him for party ticket as none else was interested to contest by-polls just three months before general elections and not because he was party stalwart Jahangir Khan Tareen’s son.

‘Bokhari doesn’t know how active I was in Lodhran’

Answering a question about party leader Naeem Bokhari’s criticism over his nomination, he maintained that he respects the lawyer but Bokhari perhaps doesn’t know “how active I was in the constituency”.

“The example he gave, of Kulsoom Nawaz’s nomination (for NA-120 by-polls) is incorrect as Kulsoom Nawaz was not active in that constituency and had never even spent time with the people there, I don’t know him (Naeem Bokhari) personally but he perhaps doesn’t know how active I was in Lodhran since 2015 and to add to that PTI Lodhran unanimously elected me for party ticket,” said Ali Tareen.

Weeks before the by-election, senior PTI leader Naeem Bokhari had strongly criticized his own party’s decision to award the ticket to Ali Tareen for he considers it against PTI’s principled stance on dynastic politics.

“Was there not a single person who deserved the party ticket (other than Ali Tareen), why we (PTI leaders) were angry over Nawaz Shareef’s act of awarding ticket to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz (for NA-120 by-polls),” Naeem had said in a talk show.

About his party chief Imran Khan’s recent statement that he was awarded ticket out of compulsion for none was ready to contest the by-polls,  he said that Imran Khan is correct for no local leader was coming forward but claimed that a PML-Ns’ Lodhran leader had said that his party would have won with a heavier margin if Ali Tareen wasn’t contesting.

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