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SAHIWAL: The district did not lose any provincial constituency in the final delimitation but their numbers have changed. Previously, Punjab Province (PP) constituencies were PP-220 to 226 and now they are PP-196 to PP -202. These seven constituencies fall in tehsils Sahiwal and Chichawatni. Of those seven seats, candidates for five seats have been finalised.

PP-199: PPP’s likely candidate is Chaudhry Hafeez Akhter won the seat. He is, however, more interested in ticket for PP-200. Union council vice-chairman Malik Younis has also applied for the PPP ticket.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will pick its candidate from Chaudhry Ahad Iqbal, Irshad Kathiya and Rana Tanveer. Both Mr Tanveer and Mr Iqbal are the first timers.

Former PML-N MPA Arshad Khan Lodhi who lost only two elections during his electoral career from 1970 to 2013, is ill nowadays and his daughter Ayesha Lodhi or son-in-law Naveed Lodhi will contest election on the PML-N ticket.

PP-200: The PPP ticket will go either to former MPA Hafeez Akhtar or former MPA Shahzad Saeed Cheema. PTI’s choice is former MPA Waheed Asghar Doger, while PML-N’s choice is Rana Riaz, former market committee secretary.

Haji Ayub, cousin to former MNA Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal, will be an independent candidate for this seat.

PP-201: The PPP ticket has been sought by Chaudhry Shafqat Cheema. The PTI is likely to pick Rai Murtaza for the seat, who has also applied for NA-149 ticket. Chaudhry Hanif Jutt is again a strong aspirant for the PML-N ticket. Javed Sohail Rehmani who bagged 16,796 votes on the PML-Q ticket in 2013 will also be in the run as an independent.

PP -202: PTI’s likely candidate is former MNA Nauman Langrial who is also a candidate for NA-149. He was runner up on the PML-Q ticket for old NA-163 in 2013 when PML-N’s Chaudhry Munir Azhar won the seat. Langrial won the seat on the PML-Q ticket in the 2008 election.

Shahid Munir Azhar, son of Munir Azhar, will get the PML-N ticket for PP-202. Retired Maj Sarwar is also a contestant for the PTI ticket besides Chaudhry Saeed Gujar. Former bar secretary ​Mansha ​Bath will a PPP candidate for this seat.

Meanwhile, Rai Murtaza, succeeded to grab the PTI ticket for NA-149. It is said there was a strong competition between the Rais and the Langrials for the seat.

After the the PTI decision, Nauman Langrial has threatened to contest for the seat as an independent candidate, a source told Dawn.

Dawn learnt Mr Langrial also submitted his nomination papers as independent candidate for the seat.

The constituency consists of old NA-162 (which was stronghold of the Rais) and NA-163 (the power base of the Langrials).

Interestingly, both families were with the PML-Q in 2002 and 2008.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2018