MURREE, May 3: Tough contest is expected between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) in NA-50 which comprises Murree, Kotli Sattian and Kahuta.

The unbeatable Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of PML-N is facing the toughest contest of his political life, though he lost to PPP candidate and his present main rival Ghulam Murtaza Satti in 2002. However, aside from that particular contest, he has been winning every election from 1988 till 2008.However, Mr Abbasi is facing tough competition from his rival Murtaza Satti. To make the contest even tougher, this time around two more candidates from his own clan are contesting against him: Qari Saifullah Saifi of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and Sadaqat Ali Abbasi of PTI.

On the other hand, Murtaza Satti has got an edge over Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in three southern tehsils of the constituency because of the Satti tribe’s unity.

With two more candidates from the Abbasi tribe, a division in vote-bank is expected which will create a challenge for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

PPP is able to take advantage of this situation, and the chances of its victory are increasing.

Internal politics within the PML-N is also playing a role in favour of the PPP.

It is allegedly noted that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi opposed his party’s decision to award the provincial assembly Kahuta ticket to Raja Muhammad Ali, son of veteran politician Raja Zafarul Haq.

While the PML-N has awarded its ticket to Mohammad Ali, Raja Zafarul Haq is secretly favouring PPP candidate Murtaza Satti, which is a severe blow to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Meanwhile, PTI’s popularity is increasing rapidly which will also work in the favour of the PPP.

This time Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and JUI-F fielded candidates separately. Previously these religious parties voted for the PML-N candidates.

According to political analysts, PTI chief Imran Khan’s public meeting drew a larger crowd than Nawaz Sharif’s on the Mall, despite the PML-N chief’s personal affiliation with Murree.

In PP-1, three parties PPP, PML-N and PPP are facing a tough contest.

PTI is not considered the prime candidate for the NA seat, but its candidate for the provincial assembly, Javed Satti is in a competitive position vis-à-vis the PPP and PML-Q joint candidate Sardar Saleem Khan, and the PML-N’s Raja Ashfaq Sarwar.

How these rivalries play out will become evident on May 11.

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