GUJRAT: Former federal minister Chaudhary Wajahat Hussain has fielded his son Chaudhary Hussain Elahi as a PML-Q candidate in NA-68 (Jalalpur Jattan-Tanda) who will contest against ex-MNA Nawabzada Ghazanfar Ali Gull, now a PML-N candidate.

Though many other candidates from various parties as well as independents have filed their nomination papers in the constituency, according to observers of local politics, the main contest is expected between Mr Gull and Mr Elahi.

It will be the first electoral bout for the young Hussain Elahi who has been active in the constituency for the last four years. His father Wajahat Hussain has been twice elected as an MNA from the constituency. He has been running the campaign of his son instead of appearing as a candidate himself.

For the first time in the electoral history of Gujrat, none of the three sons of late Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi -- Shujaat Hussain, Wajahat Hussain and Shafaat Hussain -- will be contesting general elections.

Though the PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had not contested the 2013 poll, his younger brothers Wajahat and Shafaat had contested from NA-104 and PP-109, respectively. Both of them were defeated by their traditional rivals -- the Nawabzada family.

Chaudhry Wajahat had been thrice elected as an MPA from Jalalpur Jattan -- 1988, 1990 and 1997 -- and later won from NA-104 (now NA-68) twice in 2002 and 2008 against Ghazanfar Gull, then a PPP candidate.

In the July 25 poll, three members of Chaudhry family will be in the run for different constituencies of the district -- Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for NA-69, Hussain Elahi for NA-68 and Moonis Elahi for PP-30.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has so far fielded no candidate in NA-68, PP-29 and PP-30 because of the seat-adjustment formula agreed with the PML-Q leadership. However, it has announced Zubair Ahmed Khan as its (PTI’s) candidate from PP-28 (Tanda-Karianwala). Those aspiring for the PTI tickets from NA-68 and PP-29 (Jalalpur Jattan) have been lodging protest against the party chairman’s decision of seat adjustment with the PML-Q.

Sources say that the PML-Q’s senior leadership has asked the PTI to withdraw its candidate from PP-28, but any decision in this regard is yet to be made.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018

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