PESHAWAR - Though the PTI-led coalition that rules the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province seems struggling hard to meet the promises it had made with electorates aimed at paving its way to have a smooth win in the upcoming local bodies elections, yet another tripartite alliance, mainly consisting of opposition parties - JUI-F, ANP and PPP - is also optimistic to give a tough time to the government in the contest.
Seeing the bright prospects, the JUI-F, ANP and PPP are constantly been mobilising their workers across the province by holding public meetings and directing them to work shoulder-to-shoulder to win the local bodies polls.
In these meetings, the opposition parties are accusing the ruling PTI of doing nothing better for the welfare of common people in the province.
The ruling PTI and its allied parties - Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami Jamhuri Itehad (AJI) have not publicly announced making of an electoral alliance for local bodies elections to field joint candidates and even contest the polls on a common symbol.
It seems that there is an understanding in the ruling coalition to challenge the opposition jointly. To attract electorates, opposition parties have started a massive drive by visiting various districts. However, differences on certain issues among office-bearers and workers of opposition alliance have also been reported.
Sources said that local leaders of PPP Peshawar are unhappy over the alliance with ANP. They argued that ANP has blamed the PPP Peshawar chapter for not fully supporting ANP in the by-elections of Haji Ghulam Bilour on NA-1, Peshawar. The PPP office-bearers denied the allegations and said that if they did not support ANP then how Bilour won the seat.
Apart from, the PPP district Peshawar further supports their argument by saying that it was the dismal performance of ANP in previous government, which led to a shocking defeat to the party across the province. Thus, having again an electoral alliance with ANP in coming local government elections may cause trouble for the PPP.
Also, the same situation has reportedly been developed in southern districts of the province, where the JUI-F has deeply rooted. As, it has been learnt that the PPP and JUI-F workers may not support each other’s candidates there and that may dent opposition alliance in this part of the province.
However, political pundits say that if opposition parties support each others sincerely, it would be hard enough for the ruling parties to stop it from a victory. Indeed, the PTI that climbed the ladders high by winning majority of the provincial and national assemblies’ seats in last general polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. And its testing time has begun from the day after reaching the power corridor. People have pinned high hopes on and expecting much, especially eradicating unemployment and maintaining law and order from the provincial government.
“Honestly, there is nothing so far seemed on the ground,” another political observer said. “Does anybody see a change, for which, the PTI has been voted,” he added. He said the present government has passed several bills and “Right to Information (RTI) is one of them. But the common people have nothing to do with such legislation. They want peace, job and reduction in prices.
Thus, the ruling alliance may not perform well in the coming local government elections, if it goes for elections in this situation. On other side, despite having local level differences, the leaders of tripartite opposition alliance are optimistic to sweep the upcoming local bodies’ polls.
A political analyst said that with passage of time, these differences would be resolved as the decision of electoral alliance came from the top brass of these opposition parties. “Any local level differences would cause nothing to break the alliance,” he explained.