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SANGHAR, July 9: A total of 17 nomination forms were filed till Tuesday, the last date for submission of papers, with the returning officer for by-election on NA-235 (Sanghar-II).

The by-poll on the seat was announced after MNA-elect Syed Sadruddin Shah Rashdi who won two National Assembly seats in the May 11 general election vacated NA-235 and retained NA-216 (Khairpur).

Prominent among the candidates who submitted forms on Tuesday were Pakistan Peoples Party MNA on reserved seats for women Shazia Marri, her sister Quratul Ain Marri and former taluka nazim of Khipro Khuda Bux Dars.

Earlier, former MPA of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Qazi Shamsdin Rajar, former MNA Dev Das, Ismail Dars, Ghulam Mustafa Shar, Nisar Wassan, Syed Gul Hassan Shah, Madad Ali Jiskani and Dharmoon Bheel had submitted the forms.

The scrutiny of the forms would begin on July 11 as per schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Ms Marri had lost the seat to Mr Rashdi in the general election.

Her re-entry in the poll contest posed a serious challenge to the PML-F as she had polled more than 60,000 votes even while she suffered a defeat in her maiden contest for the seat.

Talking to reporters at the press club, Ms Marri said, without naming the PML-F, that “they had ruled Sanghar district for the past 50 years but given nothing to people”. “Such people should not contest elections,” she said.

The Hindu scheduled caste community, the main farm workforce, felt a sense of insecurity.

Their CNICs were snatched on poll day by rival landlords in order to stop them from casting their ballots in favour of the PPP, she claimed.

She said that she had filed a complaint about it with the ECP. Sanghar had no longer been an impregnable fort of the PML-F as followers of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, too, lived in the city in a considerable majority, she said.