CHAKWAL, May 12: Setting all competition aside, the Pakistan Muslim League-N’s tiger roared loudly in all six constituencies of Chakwal district, retaining its fortress.
In NA-60, according to the unofficial result, PML-N’s Major (retired) Tahir Iqbal got 129,159 votes against his major opponent Sardar Ghulam Abbas, who got 100,100 votes.
Sardar Ghulam Abbas was heading an independent panel in the district, and had himself stood for the battle in NA-60 and PP-22. He fielded Chaudhry Ejaz Hussain Farhat in PP-20, Malik Akhtar Shahbaz in PP-21 and Sardar Amjad Ilyas in PP-23. Mr. Abbas, who had the support of the PML-Q, left the NA-61 seat vacant for his ally, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz, who entered politics for the first time, stood third with 47,546 votes. His performance in the PML-N and Sardar Ghulam Abbas dominated district is being viewed as a big achievement by observers.
“Congratulations PML-N’s Major Tahir Iqbal and Ch Liaquat Ali Khan. Glad that people have voted for whom they think is better for Pakistan,” Raja Yasir’s status on Facebook said. He added, “Around 50,000 votes within 23 days of campaigning; not bad at all.”
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), like other parts of the country, faced the voters’ wrath in NA-60 as well, where its candidate, Raja Sana-ul Haq only got 11,073 votes.
Both provincial constituencies of NA-60 were also swept by the PML-N.
In PP-20, Chaudhry Liaquat Ali Khan made a new record in the district by becoming an MPA for the sixth time. Mr. Liaquat bagged 61,657 votes against his rivals Chaudhry Ejaz Hussain Farhat (Sardar Ghulam Abbas Group) and PTI’s Chaudhry Ali Nasir Khan Bhatti, who got 35,182 and 32,315 votes respectively.
Interestingly PPP’s District President Shahjahan Sarfraz Raja, who used to get more than twenty-five thousand votes in the past, only bagged 8,013 votes.
PP-21 was won by Malik Tanvir Aslam Awan (PML-N) who got 74,061 votes against Malik Akhtar Shahbaz (35,080 votes) and PTI’s Pir Shaukat Hussain Karooli (24,240 votes). PPP’s candidate Raja Asad Janjua secured 5,267 votes.
In NA 61, PML N’s Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman defeated PML-Q’s stalwart Chaudhry Pervez Elahi by securing 113,303 votes against Elahi’s 98,414, while PTI’s Sardar Mansoor Hayat Tamman won 45,343 votes. Due to an accord with the PML-Q, the PPP did not field its candidates in NA-61 and its two provincial constituencies, PP 22 and PP 23.
PML Q had been optimistic in securing NA-61, but was rejected by the voters despite the support of two strong politicians Sardar Faiz Tamman (former MNA) and Fauzia Behram (former MPA).
In PP-22, PML N’s Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan emerged as winner by securing 56,905 votes against his major rival Sardar Ghulam Abbas’ 48,720. PP-22 is also the home constituency of former MNA Ayaz Amir, but despite his support, PTI’s Pir Nisar Qasim managed to get 17,575 votes.
Talking to Dawn on Sunday evening, Sardar Ghulam Abbas expressed content over the results. “I fully accept the results, but a bad custom was introduced during the elections when my rival in PP-22 used money to buy the votes,” he maintained.
Mr Abbas thanked people who voted for him despite being an independent candidate. “I have bagged roundabout 150,000 votes from NA-60 and PP-22,” he said, adding that he had remained silent in past five years but would now perform an active opposition in the district.
When contacted, Sardar Zulfiqar Dullah, who was accused for distributing money among voters, said, “Those who are defeated can only level such allegations. I thank my voters and assure them that the phase of their development has started,” he said.
In PP-23, PML-N’s Malik Zahoor Anwar Awan defeated major rival Sardar Amjad Ilyas of the Sardar Group by securing 54,192 votes against the 45,991 votes of his rival. PTI’s Col (retired) Sultan Surkhru managed to get 23,264 votes.
As the results started pouring in on Saturday night, supporters of PML-N gathered at Bhoun Chowk in front of Chaudhry Liaquat Ali’s residence. After Ch Liaquat’s victory was announced, they started dancing at the beats of the drum, and, despite the imposition of section 144, celebrated their victory by firing in the air.
Chakwal witnessed an impressive turn out of 61 per cent as people came out of their homes to vote. The polling throughout the district remained peaceful.