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SAHIWAL: The Sahiwal division emerged as stronghold of PML-N as it bagged nine seats out of 10 whereas Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate managed to make it to the national assembly from one seat from Chichawatni tehsil.

According to PML-N Sahiwal secretary-general Rao Nazir Farid, Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal, who elected as district council chairman with the PML-N support, ‘secretly’ supported PTI.

Many observers believe that Zahid Iqbal of Chichawani had ‘secretly’ extended support to [arain clan] the Rai group of Chichawatni. Tufail Jutt and Hanif Jutt popularly known as “Jutt brothers” of Chichawatni lost both national and provincial assemblies seats to PTI candidates.

Interestingly, out of 20 provincial assembly seats, 13 and six were won by PML-N and PTI, respectively.

PML-N clinches nine out of 10 NA seats

Among prominent winners in Pakpattan district is Ahmed Raza Manika, who is brother-in-law of Imran Khan’s wife Bushera Manika. It is said Mian Shahbaz Sharif awarded him PML-N ticket after he quit PTI district president slot.

Head of new party - Pakistan Human Party - didn’t dent PML-N and PTI vote bank.

Pir Imran Shah and Malik Nadeem Kamran consecutively won their seats for third time on PML-N ticket from NA-147 and PP-197. Interestingly, Rai Murtaza Iqbal won his both national and provincial assembly seats on PTI ticket.

At provincial assembly seats in Sahiwal district, PML-N won in five constituencies out of seven. In Pakpattan, PTI secured three out of total five seats.

In Sahiwal district, Pir Imran Shah and Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf of PML-N defeated Nouraz Shakoor and Malik Muhammad Yar Dhakko of PTI with a big margin in NA-147 and NA-148, respectively. Pir Imran polled 120,697 ballots while Nouraz Shakoor was runner-up with 86,463 votes.

Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf obtained 128,880 votes while Muhmmad Yar Dhakko stood second with 87,557 ballots.

Rana Amir Shahzad of PPP bagged 22,785 votes and stood third.

Khizar Hayat Khagga, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Malik Arshad, Naveed Aslam Lodhi and Rana Riaz of PML-N won from PP-196, 197, 198, 199 and PP-200 by defeating PTI’s Muzaffar Shah Khagga, Shaikh Muhammad Chohan, Fasil Jalal Dhako, Irshad Ahmed Kathiya and Waheed Asgher Doger, respectively.

Rai Murtaza Iqbal and Nauman Langriyal won in PP-201, 202 on PTI ticket by defeating Muhmmad Hanif Jutt and Shahid Munir of PML-N. Murtaza and Nauman bagged 66,083 and 57,190 votes while runners-up Hanif Jutt and Shahid Munir received 48,786 and 44,196 ballots, respectively.

In Pakpattan district, Ahmed Raza Manika inflicted defeat on Muhammad Shah Khagga of PTI by obtaining 118,581 votes. Khagga secured 90,683 votes.

Interestingly, Sardar Mansib Ali Dogar, twice-elected PML-N MNA, and Rao Naseem Hashim, district president of PTI, were strong aspirants for PML-N and PTI tags but both were denied tickets and they contested independently against their parties nominees and both lost.

Sardar Mansib bagged 32,491 votes and Naseem Hashim 25,457.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2018