LAHORE: All the three main parties contending for the National Assembly constituency, NA-120 -- the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, PML-N and the PPP -- are running campaigns for the by-poll, though the latter two have yet to finalise their respective candidates.

According to sources, all MNAs and MPAs of the ruling PML-N from the provincial capital as well as local body representatives belonging to the ruling party have been directed to go door-to-door, besides taking out rallies and holding corner meetings on a daily basis, in the constituency.

Though chances of pitching Shahbaz Sharif for the seat by the PML-N are diminishing for certain reasons, the party workers are canvassing for the Punjab chief minister, whom they see as the next prime minister, carrying his portraits.

Their narrative and slogans are knitted around the mega development projects the Sharifs have undertaken in Punjab in general and in Lahore in particular.

The PTI has adopted almost a similar strategy and mobilised its local cadres for the campaign.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, the PTI nominee for the constituency, who had also contested 2013 poll and bagged a sizable number of votes, chaired a meeting of the union council chairmen and vice-chairmen of her party on Wednesday and asked them to knock each and every door in the constituency carrying message of the party to the electorate.

They were also asked to convince the voters that Shahbaz Sharif would be a “wrong” choice as he too would soon be sent packing like his elder brother Nawaz Sharif, in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

The PTI has also formed block-wise committees for conducting the election campaign in a more organised way.

The PPP is slowly building its campaign’s momentum by holding occasional corner meetings as the party has yet to select its candidate for the constituency.

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Azizur Rehman Chan are among the hopefuls for the party ticket for the constituency. Mr Chan, also the party’s Lahore chapter chief, is contacting the old guards in the area to motivate and mobilise them for supporting any candidate the party high command may find suitable for the ticket.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017

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