NAUSHAHRO FEROZE, April 26: For the first time in decades, the ‘electable’ and highly influential family of late Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, founder of the National Peoples Party, is feeling ill at ease in its own turf after defection of several important leaders and a significant reduction in number of bogus votes.
Barring only one constituency of PS-23, Jatois will have to brace for a neck-and-neck fight with the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians candidates for two seats of National Assembly (NA) and five PA seats.
NPP chairman Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, son of late Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, is expected to face a tough fight from PPPP candidate Zulfiqar Ali Behan for NA-211 (Naushahro Feroze-I).
Mr Jatoi had though defeated Behan in 2008 election with a big margin by securing 109,148 votes against Behan’s 53,468, the situation has since then changed with total registered votes shrinking to 287,886 from 381,020.
Moreover, heads of a number of communities who have bloc votes of their community fellows, including Raiz Ahmed Goraho who has remained taluka nazim of Naushahro Feroze, former MPA Abdul Sattar Rajpar and Sardar Osman Almani have quit the NPP and joined the PPPP. A close aide to Jatois, Rais Ghulam Hussain Abbasi has also recently joined MQM.
On NA-212 (Naushahro Feroze-II), PPPP candidate Syed Asghar Ali Shah and NPP’s Ghulam Rasool Alias Aqib Khan Jatoi are poised to fight neck and neck alongside 24 other candidates.
Zaffar Ali Shah has since left PPPP and joined PML-N while his former rival Syed Murad Ali Shah has joined PPPP. The number of votes is expected to distribute equally among PPPP, PML-N and PPP, which will certainly benefit PPPP.
In this constituency, Sardar Shah Nawaz Khushik has left NPP and joined PPPP.
He wielded block votes of a large number of Khushik tribesmen. Almanis who have large pockets of voters in the area have
already defected to PPPP.
Of 19 candidates in the run for PS-19, the real contest will be between NPP’s Aqib Khan Jatoi, former district nazim and PPPP’s Mumtaz Ali Chandio. Aqib appears stronger than PPPP candidate though number of registered voters has reduced to 118,476 from 157,020.
PPPP’s Syed Murad Ali Shah, NPP’s Syed Asif Ali Shah and PML-N’s Syed Zuhaib Ali Shah are in fray for PS-20. There are 23 contestants for PS-21 but the real fight will be among PPPP’s Syed Sarfaraz Ali Shah, NPP’s Syed Abrar Ali Shah and PML-N’s Syed Munawwar Ali Shah.
A stiff fight is expected to be witnessed for PS-22 between PPPP’s Abdul Sattar Rajpar and NPP’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi. PPPP’s Rajpar had defeated NPP’s Abbasi in 2008 polls.
PPPP’s position has much improved in the constituency with Abbasi’s joining the party a few months ago. The number of registered votes has reduced to 121,101 from 149,476 in 2008 election.
NPP’s Masroor Khan Jatoi and PPPP’s Feroze Khan Jamali will lock horns for PS-23. In 2008, Masroor had defeated PPPP’s Qurban Ali Behan. He is in a comfortable position because he has done a lot to develop the area.