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SWABI, May 5: The candidates of the mainstream political parties are bracing for a close contest on the six provincial assembly constituencies in the district.

The PK-31, Swabi-I, is considered the heart of the district politics where 16 candidates are in the run. In 2002 elections, late Dr Mohammad Salim of Swabi Qaumi Mahaz defeated the ANP candidate Aman Khan. In 2008, ANP’s Zar Shaid Khan won the seat getting 9,482 votes. The number of total valid votes stood at 33,849.

Now, Gul Zamin Shah of ANP, Dildar Khan of PML-N and Babar Salim of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) are heading for a close contest. But independent candidate Shah Wali could turn the tables on their rivals.

In PK-32, Swabi-II, Jamaat-i-Islami provincial naib amir Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, former ANP MPA Ameer Rehman and AJIP chairman are top contestants among the 13 candidates from the seat. Mr Ameer Rehman had won the seat in 2002, but he lost to businessman Javid Khan Tarakai, who got 20,677 votes, in 2008 elections. Mr Ameer got 15,647 votes. Total valid polled votes were 38,003.

In PK-33, Swabi-III, both 2002 and 2008 elections were won by ANP’s Mukhtiar Ali advocate. He got 14,446 votes in 2008 elections, followed by Awwal Sher Khan Yousufzai of the Swabi Qaumi Mahaz 8,955 votes. Total valid votes polled were 37,122. This constituency is considered as the stronghold of the ‘Red Shirt’ followers. Now, total 13 candidates are in the field, including Mohammad Ishfaq Khan of ANP, Mohammad Ali of AJIP and Salman Wali of QWP.

In PK-34, Swabi-IV, Abdul Majid Khan of MMA won election in 2002, but in 2008 elections an independent candidate Sardar Ali emerged victorious, grabbing 9,728 votes. Total valid votes polled were 34,545. On this constituency, Abdul Karim of QWP, Eng Amjid Khan of ANP and Nawab Zada of PML-N are considered strong.

On PK-35, Swabi-V, Maulana Fazal Ali of MMA was the winning candidate in 2002 elections. However, in 2008 elections Sikandar Irfan of ANP won the seat, grabbing 8,949 votes, followed by Maulana Fazal Ali’s 8,053 votes. Total valid votes polled were 34,403.

Observers expect a tough contest among Maulana Fazal Ali of JUI-F, Sajjad Khan of PML-N and Mohammad Islam of ANP on this seat. Asad Qaisar, PTI provincial president, is also contesting election from this constituency.

From PK-36, Swabi-VI, Sarfaraz Khan Jadoon of ANP emerged victorious in 2002 and 2008 elections. He is the only candidate in the district who got the ANP ticket for the third straight time. He got 9,899 votes in the previous election followed by independent candidate Amir Saeed with 9,765 votes. Mr Amir Saeed was also the runner up candidate in 2002 elections but at that time he contested election on the PML-N ticket. Total valid votes polled were 33,490.

Shiraz Khan of PML-N, Sarfaraz Khan Jadoon of ANP and JUI-F’s Sajjad Khan Jadoon are the main contenders on the seat.