LAHORE – The PML-N has totally rejected the idea of holding local bodies (LBs) elections before the general polls.

A high-level party meeting on Monday, among others things, also discussed the statement made by President Asif Ali Zardari about holding LBs elections before the general ones.

Sources privy to the proceedings of the meeting say the party unanimously turned down the idea and called for the general elections as a matter of dire need of the country and a means to overcome the current critical situation. Sources say the party leadership held dominant view that the matter of holding local government elections had been raised at this point to create confusion for the sake of lingering on the tenure of the present assemblies by one year so that they could once again elect Zardari for a second term in the office of the president.

The PML-N held the view that on account of poor performance of the PPP government, the ruling party in the Centre did not expect to win the required strength in the assemblies as such President Zardari hankered after getting his re-election through the same assemblies and the local government polls was the best way for prolonging their term till September 2013. As such the LBs elections before general ones were being taken by the PML-N as nothing more than a ploy of the PPP, sources say. They say the party firmly believes that the local government cannot serve the country and the nation in a situation where general elections are needed.

The whole leadership of the party is one on the point that the LB polls should be held after the general elections also for the reason that weak economy can afford only one elections and the need of the hour are the general elections and not the LBs.

Sources say that the PML-N after discussing the LBs issue threadbare at the meeting wanted them to be held on the same day in all provinces and federal capital and also under the same system. It strongly repelled the divergent LBs system in the provinces believing that it would create difficulties besides weakening the federation. The PML-N has decided to work out a strong resistance movement in case the government will force its way for holding local bodies elections bypassing the general polls. The sources further confide that after discussing the matter of forming grand alliance of the opposition, the meeting decided that only those would be accepted in the folds which were ready to contest the elections on the PML-N’s election symbol.

Sources say the PML-N leadership with a view to keep the situation confusion-free in the party is by and large inclined to face the PPP government alone before and in the elections.