PML-N candidates also have the support of the PPP and other PDM parties

 

 

Some of the turncoats had won 2018 election with a comfortable margin of victory, however, public sentiments about the turncoats seem to have changed and so the situation

in their constituencies

 

 

ISLAMABAD   -    The Punjab province is going to witness a big political showdown as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the PML-N wrestle for 20 Punjab Assembly seats on 17th.

Twenty provincial constituen­cies are on the ballot after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-seated 25 PTI MPAs in­cluding 5 elected on the reserved seats for voting against the party lines. Political experts are ex­pecting a tough contest between the opponents; PTI and PML-N as the vote will be decisive for each side to lead the province. Currently, PML-N is in the gov­ernment with almost no major­ity and a slighter change in the number of seats in the House may push it out of power.

Campaigning for the by-polls continued for weeks with each side using all resources and ener­gies to win the seats. PTI Chair­man Imran Khan is addressing the election rallies in the respec­tive constituencies to seek sup­port for his party candidates. People will take part in the by-elections in the 14 districts of Punjab with political observers, media and public in large show­ing special interest in the results.

Some of the turncoats had won the 2018 general election with a comfortable margin of victory. However, public senti­ments about them seems to have changed and so the situation in their constituencies. Anyhow, the election results would suggest if turncoats have still any accept­ability in the political system of the country and whether the vot­ers prefer party over personality.

The data shows that, in PP-7 (Rawalpindi-II), PML-N has field­ed Raja Sagheer Ahmed against PTI’s Lt. Col. Shabbir Awan. Sa­gheer Ahmed’s father and brother were former members of the dis­trict council. On the other hand, Awan began his political career with the PPP in 2008, and was elected MPA that year. He joined the PTI in 2011. The results of the 2018 general election show that Raja Sagheer Ahmed, as an inde­pendent candidate, had bagged 44,287 votes to beat candidates of both the PML-N and PTI but with a thin margin of victory. PML-N’s Raja Muhammad Ali got 42,382 votes while PTI’s Ghulam Murtaza Satti got 40,332 votes to remain runner up and third in the contest respectively. Later, Raja Sagheer joined the PTI. The constituency falls under NA-57, where PTI’s Sadaqat Ali Abbasi is an MNA.

In PP-83 (Khushab-II), PML-N’s candidate is Ameer Haider Sang­ha who will contest PTI’s Hasan Aslam Awan. He is Umer Aslam’s younger brother. In 2018, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha had won the constituency as an indepen­dent candidate and later joined the PTI. Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha had bagged 68,959 votes to defeat Muham­mad Asif Malik of the PML-N who could get 47,684 votes. PTI’s Ghulam As­ghar Khan could get 8517 votes only. Two hope­fuls of the PTI tick­et, Malik Asif Bha and Muhammad Tiwa­na are contesting indepen­dently after being refused tickets by the PTI. The constituency falls under NA-93, where PTI’s Umer Aslam Awan is MNA.

Saeed Akbar Khan is the PML-N candidate in PP-90 (Bhakkar-II). He will be contesting PTI’s Irfanul­lah Khan Niazi. He is a former gen­eral secretary of the PML-N (Bhak­kar). In 2018, Niazi contested the election on a PML-N ticket but lost. Niazi joined the PTI in June this year. In 2018, Saeed Akbar Khan, as an independent candidate, got 59,350 votes to defeat Irfan Ullah Khan Niazi of the PML-N who got 44,915 votes. PTI’s Ehsan Ullah Khan could get 12,994 votes only. The constituency falls under NA-97, where PTI’s Sana Ullah Khan Masti Khel is MNA.

Muhammad Ajmal Cheema is the PML-N candidate in PP-97 (Faisalabad-I). He will contest PTI’s Ali Afzal Sahi. He is the son of the former speaker Punjab As­sembly, Chaudhary Muhammad Afzal Sahi. In 2018, Ajmal, as an independent candidate got 42,273 votes to defeat Ali Afzal Sahi of the PTI who could secure 37,932 votes. Azad Ali Tabassum of the PML-N got 35,298 votes to remain third in the contest. Cheema is a former provincial minister in Pun­jab. The constituency falls under NA-101, where PTI’s Muhammad Asim Nazeer is MNA. Nazeer is among the dissident PTI MNAs.

In PP-158 (Lahore-XV) PML-N has fielded Rana Ahsan Sharafat as its candidate who will contest PTI’s Mian Akram Usman. Usman is the son of former MNA Mian Us­man and son-in-law of PTI’s Mian Mahmood-ur-Rashid. In 2018, Abdul Aleem Khan of the PTI got 52,299 votes while Rana Ahsan of the PML-N got 45,228 votes. Al­eem Khan will not contest the by-election and will instead support the PML-N candidate. The constituency falls un­der NA-129, where PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq is MNA.

Nazir Ahmed Chohan of the PML-N will be contesting Shabbir Gujjar of the PTI in PP-167 (Lahore-XXIV). Guj­jar is brother of PTI’s ticket holder in 2018, Khalid Gu­jjar. Chohan as a PTI candidate in 2018, got 40,704 votes to de­feat Mian Muhammad Saleem of the PML-N who bagged 38,463 votes. Chohan was with PML-Q in 2002 and joined the PTI in 2012. The constituency falls under NA-133, where PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz Malik is MNA.

Muhammad Amin Zulqarnain of the PTI will be contesting Za­heer Abbas Khokhar of the PTI in PP-170 (Lahore-XXVII). Muham­mad Amin Zulqarnain won the constituency as a PTI candidate in 2018. He got 25,180 votes and defeated Imran Javaid of the PML-N who bagged 20,730 votes. Zulqarnain is Awn Chaudhry’s brother. He started his political career in 2005 from the plat­form of PML-Q. On the other hand, Khokhar is a former MNA and former managing director of Bait-ul-Maal. The constituency falls under NA-134, where PML-N’s Rana Mubashir Iqbal is MNA.

In PP-202 (Sahiwal-VII), the PML-N has fielded Malik Nau­man Ahmad Langrial to contest PTI’s Major (retired) Ghulam Sarwar. Langrial had joined the PTI in 2017. PTI candidate Major (retired) Ghulam Sarwar started his political career with Jamaat-e-Islami. In 2018, Malik Nauman Langrial got 57,190 votes and de­feated Shahid Munir of the PML-N who bagged 44,196 votes. The constituency falls under NA-149 where PTI’s Murtaza Iqbal is MNA.

In PP-217 (Multan-VII), the PML-N has fielded Muhammad Salman Naeem against PTI’s Zain Qureshi who is the son of Shah Mehmood Qureshi. In 2018, Naeem beat Shah Mehmood Qureshi on this provincial seat and became an MPA for the first time and later joined the PTI. Mu­hammad Salman got 35,294 votes while Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the PTI who got 31716 votes. PML-N’s Tasneem Kousar got 21618 votes to remain third in the contest. The constituency falls under NA-156 where PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi is MNA.

In constituency PP-224 (Lodhran-I), Zawar Hussain War­raich of the PML-N will contest PTI’s Amir Iqbal Shah. Shah was a PML-N ticket holder in 2018 and is now PTI’s candidate. In 2018, Zawar Hussain Warraich of the PTI got 60,482 votes and de­feated Muhammad Amir Iqbal of the PML-N who got 48,211 votes. Warraich is considered close to Jahangir Tareen. In 2017, Shah’s father defeated the son of Tareen, who was the PTI candidate in the by-election for NA-154. The constituency falls under NA-160, where PML-N’s Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju is MNA.

In PP-228 (Lodhran-V), PML-N’s Nazir Ahmed Baloch will be contesting PTI’s Captain (retired) Javed Khan. Khan has been with the PTI since 2013 and was pre­viously part of the Tareen group. In 2018, Nazir Ahmed Khan of the PTI got 43,169 votes while PML-N’s Syed Muhammad Rafi ud Din got 39,731 votes. Saeed Rafi Bukhari, also a strong candidate, is contesting as an independent candidate. The constituency falls under NA-161 where PTI’s Mian Muhammad Shafiq Arain is MNA.

PML-N’s Fida Hussain will be contesting PTI’s Aftab Mehmood in PP-237 (Bahawalnagar-I). Fida Hussain won as an independent in 2018 and later joined the PTI. Hus­sain is considered to be a strong candidate as he has been elected MPA thrice in a row. PTI’s Mehm­ood is contesting for the first time. In 2018, Fida Hussain, as an in­dependent candidate, got 56411 votes to defeat PTI’s Muhammad Tariq Usman who secured 47630 votes. The constituency falls under NA-166 where PTI’s Muhammad Abdul Ghafar Wattoo is MNA.

In PP-272 (Muzaffargarh-V), PML-N has fielded Zehra Basit Bukhari. She is the wife of PTI MNA Basit Sultan Bukhari. PTI has given ticket to Mozzam Khan Jatoi who is a former minister and MNA. In 2018, Zahra Batool of the PTI got 27752 votes and defeated an independent candi­date Syed Haroon Ahmad who got 18853 votes. The constitu­ency falls under NA-185 where PTI’s Basit Bukhari is MNA.

In PP-282 (Layyah-III), PML-N has decided to field Muhammad Tahir Randhawa who had won as an independent in 2018 and later joined the PTI. He will be contest­ing PTI’s candidate, Qaiser Abbas Khan Magsi. He had contested the 2008 and 2013 elections on a PML-N ticket and won as MPA. He joined the PTI in 2018 just before the election. However, in 2018, Muhammad Tahir Randhawa, as an independent candidate defeat­ed Magsi by getting 37607 votes while the latter could get 26992 votes. PML-N’s Muhammad Riaz got 25556 votes to remain third in the contest. The constituency falls under NA-188 where PTI’s Niaz Ahmed Jakhar is MNA.

In PP-168 (Lahore-XXV), the PML-N has fielded Malik Asad Ali Khokhar who had won the constit­uency in the 2018 by-election as a PTI candidate He will face PTI’s Malik Nawaz Awan. Khokhar also ran for NA-136 as a PTI candidate in 2018 but lost. When PML-N’s Saad Rafique surrendered PP-168 to retain his national assembly constituency, Khokhar contested the by-election held on December 13, 2018 and won. The constituen­cy falls under NA-133 and NA-131, where PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz Malik and PML-N’s Saad Rafique are MNAs respectively.

The PML-N has fielded Mu­hammad Sibtain Raza in PP-273 (Muzaffargarh-VI) who will face PTI’s Yasir Khan Jatoi. Raza had won the constituency as a PTI candidate in 2018. In the past, Ja­toi has been elected an MPA from the PPP platform. His brother and father, both, were members of the parliament. In 2018, Muhammad Sabtain Raza got 36009 votes and defeated an independent candi­date Rasool Bukhsh Khan who got 24269 votes. Another inde­pendent candidate Malik Abdul Aziz got 22131 votes to remain third in the contest. The constitu­ency falls under NA-183, where PPP’s Raza Rabbani Khar is MNA.

In PP-288 (Dera Ghazi Khan-IV), the PML-N has fielded Abdul Qadir Khosa. He is the son of PTI MNA Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa. He will be contesting PTI’s Saif Khosa. He is the son of the former governor Punjab Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa. In 2018, Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa, as an independent can­didate, got 39396 votes and de­feated Sardar Muhammad Saifud­din of the PTI who bagged 30132 votes. The constituency falls un­der NA-190, where PTI’s Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa is MNA.

In PP-140 (Sheikhupura-VI), PML-N’s candidate is Mian Khalid Mehmood who will be contesting PTI’s candidate Khurram Virk. In 2018 election, Mian Khalid Mehmood won the constituency as a PTI candidate. Mehmood was in PML-Q in 2002, on whose platform he won the seat of MPA for the first time. In 2018, he con­tested on a PTI ticket and won. In 2018, Mian Khalid Mahmood got 32862 votes to defeat an indepen­dent candidate Yasir Iqbal who got 26029 votes. Tayyab Rashid, yet another independent candi­date got 22629 votes to remain third in the contest. The constitu­ency falls under NA-121, where PML-N’s Javed Latif is MNA.

Mehar Muhammad Aslam Bharwana is the PML-N candi­date in PP-127 (Jhang-IV). Mehar Muhammad Aslam Bharwana won as an independent in 2018 and later joined the PTI. Muham­mad Nawaz Bharwana is the PTI’s candidate. The PTI has awarded the ticket to the same person it fielded in 2018. Mehar Muham­mad Aslam, as an independent candidate in 2018, got 27,399 votes and defeated PTI’s Mehar Muhammad Nawaz who took 26,609 votes. The constituency falls under NA-115 where PTI’s Ghulam Bibi Bharwana is MNA.

In PP-125 (Jhang-II), PML-N’s candidate is Faisal Hayat Jabboana who will be contesting PTI’s Mian Muhammad Azam Cheela. Jab­boana had won as an independent in 2018 and later joined the PTI. Azam Cheela was also the party’s candidate in 2018 but lost to Jab­boana. A third strong candidate in the running is Iftikhar Ahmed Baloch, a former MPA of PML-N, who was not awarded a ticket by the PML-N and contesting inde­pendently. Jabboana in 2018 had, as an independent candidate, got 50,913 votes and defeated Cheela of the PTI who took 38,461 votes. The constituency falls under NA-114 where PTI’s Sahabzada Mu­hammad Mehboob Sultan is MNA.

PML-N candidates also have support of PPP and other PDM parties. It is also important to men­tion that in 2018 general elections, of 20 MPAs who won the polls, 10 contested as independent candi­dates and later joined the PTI.