A lot of hopping around is on show as the feudals of Rahim Yar Khan again prepare for the electoral races in the district. In NA-192, Makhdoom Ahmed Alam Anwar is now the PML-N nominee. In 2008, he took on Hamid Saeed Kazmi of the PPP on a PML-Q ticket. Kazmi won this seat by defeating Anwar and Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, the present governor of Punjab, of the PML-F. This time the PPP has granted the ticket to Khawaja Qutab Fareed Koreeja, a new candidate supported by Makhdoom Mehmood at the cost of Hamid Saeed Kazmi. Anwar has in the past won this seat from the platforms of both the PPP and the PML-N. The veteran is a tough candidate even when the PPP is without the support of Kazmi.
Mian Abdul Sattar of the PPP won NA-193 in 2008 defeating Seth Muhammad Anwar of the PML-Q and Zaib Jaffar of the PML-N.
Mian Abdul Sattar is again the PPP aspirant while the PML-N has granted the ticket to Sheikh Fayyaz, a prominent cotton businessman and former chairman of the Khanpur municipal committee. If the PTI grants the ticket to Mian Ghous, younger brother of Mian Abdul Sattar, it will have a big impact on the competition.
Former federal finance minister and one of the people involved in the Ephedrine case Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din won NA-194 for the PPP in 2008. He beat former state minister Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar of the PML-Q. Khusru will again face his relative Shahab as an independent candidate. Makhdoom Emad-ud -Din will contest the seat as the PTI ticket-holder.
The Makhdooms of Mianwali Querashian have been prominent here, winning either a national seat or a provincial seat in the area. Makhdoom Noor Muhammad Hashmi, Makhdoom Rukn-ud-Din Hashmi, Makhdoom Iltaf, Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din, Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Makhdoom Ishfaq Ahmed, Makhdoom Emad-ud-Din, Makhdoom Musharraf Hussain, Makhdoom Irtaza Hussain, Makhdoom Moeen-ud-Din and Makhdoom Afkar Ahmed all belong to Mianwali Quraishian.
NA-195 is the home seat of Punjab governor Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mehmood. His grandfather, Makhdoom-ul-Mulk Makhdoom Ghulam Miran Shah, was in the government of the Nawab in the state of Bahawalpur. Makhdoom Hasan Mehmood, Ahmed Mehmood’s father, spent his political life in the Pakistan Muslim League and at one time challenged Nawaz Sharif’s leadership with the help of his nephew, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of Multan. His brother Makhdoom Ali Akbar Mehmood was also a member of the Punjab Assembly at one time.
In the past Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mehmood imported politicians to contest from his home constituency either a general election or a by-election. Humayun Akhtar Khan, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Abdul Qadir Gilani have all contested and won here because of the political hold of Ahmed Mehmood.
Now two young sons of Ahmed Mehmood are in the fray in NA-195 and NA-197, as well as in a provincial assembly seat, as PPP nominees. Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood will contest in NA-195 which is a stronghold of his family.
NA-196 promises to be an interesting battle. In the last three elections, the Warraich family dominated here. Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal Warraich won this seat in the 2002 elections from the PPP’s platform. He resigned and was re-elected in a by-election in 2005 as a PML-Q nominee and went on to join the federal cabinet as a state minister. In 2008 his cousin Javaid Iqbal Warraich won this seat by defeating Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, a former member of the provincial assembly who was also an aspirant for the PPP ticket. The ticket instead went to Javaid Warraich, securing his victory over Mian Imtiaz who contested as an independent candidate.
Mian Imtiaz Ahmed joined the PML-N in 2011 and will face the PPP’s Javaid Iqbal Warraich. Senator Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar was not happy over the selection of Mian Imtiaz but he later shook hands with him. There is no strong PTI candidate in this race.
Arshad Khan Leghari, who has like everyone else in Rahim Yar Khan been to various parties, is the PML-N candidate in NA-197. He won the seat in 2008 but now he is going to face another son of the governor, Makhdoom Murtaza Mehmood.
Two big names in the area, Rais Munir and Rais Mehboob, had also joined the PML-N. A lot depends if the two support Arshad Leghari or contest the election as independent candidates. In any case, a tough fight is expected.