MUZAFFARGARH, May 5: As there is no trend of corner meetings in rural constituencies, the candidates are looking for every opportunity to gather people and win over their trust.
This past Friday independent candidate for NA-177 Jamshed Dasti reached Sanawan city and offered Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid. The prayer leader announced that Dasti was in the mosque and hundreds of people gathered there. He appealed to the people to vote for him.
PPP candidate Malik Rabbani Khar offered Friday prayers at Qasba Gujrat and Khalid Gurmani at Mahmoodkot.
In another interesting episode a few days ago, Dasti was on his way to Gurmani when he saw a marriage ceremony at Maitla village. He joined the ceremony without invitation, hugged the bridegroom and gave him Rs5,000 ‘salami’ and another Rs10,000 to bride’s father. Whispers about support to Dasti started soon after his departure.
Although Dasti normally travels in Vego, a costly vehicle, he also uses a motorcycle to reach people in remote areas.
Last week, when a close relative of local journalist Tahir Shah died in Muzaffargarh city, all candidates for NA-178 were present at the funeral. They stayed there for three hours because of delay in funeral prayers.
PML-N candidate for NA-177 Khalid Gurmani offered ‘fateha’ for the father of Saeed Ahmed Rodni in Gulwala last week – five months after his death.
While Dasti is a firebrand speaker and uses harsh language against his rival, Malik Noor Rabbani Khar, the father of former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, speaks politely and maintains decorum. At a meeting in Gulwala union council, he said he had lot of respect for Dasti despite the fact that he used harsh language against the Khars.
A private school owner of Mahmoodkot invited an independent candidate for PP-255, Alamdar Qureshi, to his school function. The candidate happily announced Rs10,000 for the school.
Interestingly, people are welcoming every candidate and assuring them of their support. A Thal Jute Mills labourer, Ashiq Husain said he had promised his vote to four candidates. “This is my revenge from politicians because in flood days in 2010 we were left helpless and all politicians kept lying about aid,” he said.