ISLAMABAD    -   The expected decision to postpone the by-elections in Punjab, KPK and Sindh has definitely given a sigh of relief to the PDM’s candidates contesting against PTI’s Chief Imran Khan.

PTI’s chief Imran Khan was ostensibly on a strong footing to give tough time to his opponents in most of the constituencies’ seats, which were lying vacant after acceptance of PTI’s MNAs resignations.

Despite facing criticism by the ruling clique, Khan did not spare a day holding public meetings even after the massive destruction in Sindh, KPK and Southern Punjab. Getting extra-ordinary response from masses in his public meetings, PTI’s chief held the incumbent government responsible for inflation and other related problems currently faced by the masses.

It was for the first time in the election commission’s history that a candidate was contesting from nine different constituencies from three different provinces. PTI’s Chief actually broke his own novel record of contesting from five seats in the last general polls. The announcement of deferring the by-elections with numerous understandable arguments was visibly a shock for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which has reportedly spent huge money over a ‘campaign’ in different constituencies.

The electoral watchdog argued that it had postponed the by-polls after taking feedback from the Interior Ministry about the circumstances in the areas. The matter was discussed that Pakistan Army, Rangers, and the Frontier Corps would be engaged in relief work for the flood affected people, maintaining internal security, and thwarting out terrorist activities in the country. In such circumstances, conducting the elections in three provinces was not being considered as a wise decision. The PTI has strongly criticized the decision and taken it as a move to avoid the by-polls.

Political gurus viewed that the ruling parties under the umbrella are passing through a tough terrain, which is not favourable for them to contest and grab votes. The candidates have now a time to build their image in their relevant constituencies especially in flood-hit areas. The contenders, under the umbrella of PDM, have a chance to build a positive image before their voters in these constituencies. The senior leadership from PPP-P, PML-N and JUI-F are also in contact with the some ‘annoyed’ members of PTI from these constituencies to take their help in the elections.

The ruling parties’ members are building a narrative that PTI’s chief had not relied over their party members from these constituencies. It would also be in the planning to put in the minds of the ‘ignored PTI’s members’ that Imran Khan was and trying his luck on all these seats just to gain his popularity, senior political members shared desiring not be  quoted. The had postponed  by-elections in various constituencies of Punjab, Sindh, and KP in view of the catastrophic situation in the country due to floods, but not given a specific time frame to announce next schedule. The commission, as per its strategy, will announce new dates for the polling as soon as it finds availability of the ‘ personnel of law enforcement agencies.

According to the ECP, by-elections were scheduled in National Assembly constituency of NA-157, Multan, and Provincial Assembly constituencies of PP-139, Sheikhpura and PP-241, Bahawalnagar on Sunday.  Polling in NA-22, Mardan, NA-24, Charsadda, NA-31, Peshawar, NA-45, Kurram, NA 108, Faisalabad, NA-118, Nankana Sahib, NA-237, Malir, NA-239, Korangi, and NA-246, Karachi was to be held on 25th of this month, while by-election in PP-209, Khanewal was scheduled on 2nd of the next month. The ECP said only the polling dates in these constituencies had been postponed while all the other procedures and steps will be completed as per schedule.