ISLAMABAD: A little less than 4,000 candidates are in the electoral arena to fight it out for national and provincial assembly seats from Sindh.
According to data available with Dawn, as many as 1,118 candidates are in the run for 61 National Assembly seats, while 2,810 aspirants will vie for 130 seats in the Sindh Assembly.
There are only four National Assembly constituencies in Sindh where the number of candidates is less than 10. The highest number of candidates (43) fighting it out in a single constituency is in NA 198 Sukkur, followed by 37 in NA 207 Larkana and 31 in NA 213 Nawabshah.
Nauman Islam Sheikh, son of Islamuddin Sheikh, the PPP chief whip in the Senate, will be contesting election as a PPP candidate from NA 198 Sukkur. Apparently as a tactical move, 42 other candidates in the run also include Nauman’s brother Arsalan Islam Shaikh and sister Anum Shaikh.
Former defence minister Aftab Shabaan Mirani (PPP) will have a contest with ex-MPA Iftikhar Soomro (PTI), Agha Munawar (PML-N) and Sakhi Dad Murree (MQM) in NA 202 Shikarpur.
A former minister for youth affairs Shahid Hussain Bhutto, who won the 2008 and 2002 elections on a PPP ticket, is contesting election from NA 204 (Larkana) as an independent candidate. The PPP has fielded former Sindh law minister Mohammad Ayaz Soomro. PPP-SB chief Ghinva Bhutto, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi (PML-F) and Bakht Jamal Chandio (PTI) are also in the run.
Safdar Ali Abbasi, the estranged PPP leader, is contesting election as an independent candidate from NA-205 Larkana. The PPP candidate against him will be Nazir Ahmad Bughio.
Former Sindh home minister Mir Nadir Ali Magsi will also be contesting election from NA-206 Larkana as an independent candidate. Mir Amir Ali Khan Magsi of the PPP and Imtiaz Ali Lakho of the MQM are amongst other candidates.
Faryal Talpur, sister of President Asif Ali Zardari, will contest election against Ghinwa Bhutto in NA-207 Larkana. The PML-N and the PML-Q have not fielded any candidate from this constituency.
A PPP leader and former federal minister, Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, will have a contest with former speaker of the National Assembly Illahi Baksh Soomro (PML-N) from NA 208. Ali Haider Zaidi (PTI) and Mohammad Arif Brohi (MQM) are also in the run.
In NA 215 Khairpur, former chief minister of Sindh Syed Ghous Ali Shah will face Nawab Ali Wassan (PPP), a nephew of former Sindh home minister Manzoor Wassan. Others in the run include Munawar Ali Wassan, who happens to be the son-in-law of Manzoor Wassan.
Provincial PML-F President Pir Sadruddin Shah will contest against PPP’s Sajid Ali Banbhan in NA 216 Khairpur.
In NA 218 Matiari, Makhdoom Amin Fahim is the PPP’s candidate. The names of his sons Jalil Zaman and Jamil Zaman are also in the list of candidates. The PML-N, PML-Q and ANP have not fielded any candidate in the constituency. With a majority of relatively unknown candidates, it is believed to be a one-sided affair.
The PPP’s Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamote will face Ghazi Salahuddin of the MQM, along with 24 other candidates in NA 221 Hyderabad.
Former defence minister Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP) will make an attempt to retain his seat from NA 222 Tando Mohammad Khan.
Dr Raheela Magsi of the PML-N and Abdul Sattar Bachani of the PPP will vie for NA 223 Tando Allah Yar.
Former PPP MNA Ghulam Ali Nizamani is trying his luck as an independent candidate from NA 224 Badin. The PPP has given its ticket to Sardar Kamal Khan Chang, a former district nazim of Badin.
Speaker of the outgoing National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza, will fight against another former lawmaker Bibi Yasmeen Shah in NA 225 Badin.
Munawar Ali Talpur, the husband of Faryal Talpur who is often referred to as de facto head of the PPP, will be contesting election from NA 227 Mirpurkhas. The PML-N and PML-F have fielded relatively unknown candidates against him.
Qureshi in two fights
In Umer Kot, the constituency NA 228 is expected to witness an interesting electoral battle between Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the PTI and PPP stalwart Nawab Yusuf Talpur. Former MNA Kishan Chan Parwani is also in the run.
In NA 229 Tharparkar, former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim will have a contest with PPP’s Faqir Sher Mohammad Bilalani.
Although Arbab Rahim is contesting election as an independent candidate, he enjoys support of the PML-N.
Tharparkar’s NA 230 is another constituency from where senior PTI leader Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi is in the run. He is facing Pir Noor Mohammad Shah Jilani of the PPP.
Another former Sindh chief minister, Liaquat Jatoi, faces a competition with Imran Zafar Leghari of the PPP in NA 233 Dadu.
Former Sindh information minister Shazia Marri is pitted against Pir Sadruddin Shah of the PML-F.
In NA 237 Thatta, PML-N’s Marvi Memon is in the run against PPP’s Sadiq Ali Memon and a politically strong independent candidate, Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Shirazi.