LAYYAH, Dec 16: The electioneering has geared up in the Layyah district after the award of party tickets to candidates of three major political parties — PPP, PML-N and PML-Q.
The Layyah district has two national assembly seats — NA-181 and NA-182 and five provincial assembly seats — PP-262, PP-263, PP-264, PP-265 and PP-266.
The NA-181, comprising 14 union councils of Karor tehsil and seven UCs of Choubara tehsil, has 263,128 voters - 155,271 male and 107,857 female voters.
The NA-182 (Layyah II), consisting of 23 UCs of Layyah tehsil, has 295,482 voters, 165,462 male and 130,020 female voters.
In NA-181, the PML-Q has awarded ticket to former MNA Bahadar Ahmed Khan Sehar and PML-N has retained Sahibzada Faizul Hassan who has been elected thrice as MNA from this constituency. The PPP has finally selected Chaudhry Altaf Hussain who was elected MPA from PP-262 on the PML-Q platform. The party has given him preference over Dr Abdul Rasheed Samtiya.
According to pundits, the NA candidates of the PPP are getting public support and may upset the final election results.
Karor Lal Esan tehsil nazim Sajjad Ahmed Khan Sehar, the younger brother of Bahadar Ahmed Khan, is running the election campaign of PML-Q candidates in the Karor tehsil. Candidates of rival parties allege that resources of the Karor TMA are being utilised for the benefits of PML-Q candidates.
Three provincial assembly constituencies — PP-262, PP-263 and PP-264 – fall under NA-181. The PML-Q has awarded party tickets for these PA seats to Chaudhry Athar Maqbool, Malik Allah Buksh Samtiya and Shahabuddin Khan Sehar, respectively.
Shahabuddin is the brother-in-law of Bahadar Khan and son-in-law of District Nazim Malik Ghulam Haider Thind.
The PML-N has given ticket to Ahmed Ali Aulakh for PP-262, Raja Fiaz Hussain Sukhara for PP-263 and former Choubara tehsil nazim Qaisar Abbas Khan Magsi for PP-264.
The PPP has awarded ticket to Niaz Ahmed Gujjar for PP-262, Safdar Abbas Bhatti for PP-263 and Malik Muhammad Younas Thind for PP-264.
Political analysts say that a neck-and-neck fight is expected between Qaisar Abbas and Shahabuddin in PP-264 while the PML-N candidate has an edge on other candidates in PP-262. Safdar Abbas Bhatti of the PPP is ahead of his rival candidates in PP-263.
In NA-182, candidates of three mainstream political parties, Malik Niaz Ahmed Jhakhar of PML-Q, Muhammad Saqlain Shah Bukhari of PML-N and Dr Syed Fakeer Hussain Shah of the PPP, are in the run.
Malik Niaz Ahmed Jhakhar, who was elected on the PPP ticket in 2002 elections, had shifted his loyalties to the Patriots. He later joined the PML-Q when former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi visited Layyah on Jan 7 this year.
PML-N candidate Muhammad Saqlain Shah had faced defeat in the 2002 elections. PPP candidate Dr Fakeer Hussain Shah is a newcomer.
District Nazim Malik Ghulam Haider Thind is running the PML-Q election campaign in Layyah tehsil. PML-Q candidates are using official vehicles after changing their number plates. While posters of candidates are also pasted on some vehicles to cover the misuse.
Noor Nabi Jhakhar, the younger brother of Tehsil Nazim Iftikhar Jhakhar, is a ticket holder of PML-Q in PP-265. The tehsil nazim, who is also the brother-in-law of former MNA Niaz Jhakhar, is busy in door-to-door canvassing for his brother with the help of TMA staff.
District Nazim Malik Ghulam Haider Thind has also involved lady health workers in the election campaign of her daughter Razia Begum, the ticket holder of PML-Q in PP-266.
Political pundits are of the view that the PML-Q has lost the public support by awarding party tickets for PP-265 and PP-266 to tehsil nazim’s younger brother and the district nazim’s daughter, respectively. They say that the people are not willing to vote for the power-mongered families.
Two provincial assembly seats, PP-265 and PP-266, fall under NA-182.
In PP-265, the PML-N awarded party ticket to former MPA Ejaz Ahmed Echlana while the PPP and the PML-Q have given tickets to Sajjad Ahmed and Noor Nabi Jhakhar, respectively.
In PP-266, former MPA Mahar Fazal Hussain Sumra is the candidate of PML-N, while Razia Begum and Iftikhar Babar Khan Khitran are candidates of PML-Q and PPP, respectively.
Political analysts say that Ejaz Ahmed Echlana is enjoying popularity in PP-265 while a tough contest is expected between candidates of the PML-N and PML-Q in PP-266.