BAHAWALPUR: Electioneering by the prospective candidates of the main political parties for Cantonment Board, Bahawalpur seats is likely to begin in the city in the next few days.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has invited the nomination papers from candidates from July 26 to 29.

Returning Officer Rana Ramiz Shafqat who is also Cantonment Board executive officer told Dawn that none of the candidates had filed his nomination papers so far. He said 60 candidates had collected nomination forms from his office.

The scrutiny of the nomination papers would be carried out from July 31 to Aug 3 while polling would be held in September.

According to the RO, the Cantonment Board has five wards instead of three in the last tenure as with the increase of population two more wards have been carved out in the jurisdiction of Cantonment Board and one member from each ward would be elected for the board to be headed by an army officer while a vice president would be elected from amongst the five civil elected members.

In the city’s CB, the three elected outgoing members belonged to the PML-N. Later, the PTI captured power in the Centre and Punjab and some of them changed loyalties.

Besides the PTI, the candidates from the two main opposition parties PPP and PML-N are flexing muscles to field their own candidates. The PML-Q is also expected to nominate its own candidates in the five wards on its own election symbol. Federal Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema, a confidant of Chaudhrys of Gujrat, is likely to nominate party candidates with the approval of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Parvez Elahi. Cheema has support of his two MPAs Dr Muhammad Afzal and Chaudhry Ehsanul Haq.

MPA Chaudhry Samiullah and MNA Farooq Azam Malik are active and likely to nominate ruling PTI’s candidates.

As for the PML-N, former federal minister Baleeghur Rehman, his close aide Dr Rana Muhammad Tariq, former MNA Begum Perveen Masood Bhatti, former MPA Begum Fauzia Ayub Qureshi and district president Khalid Mahmood Jajja are actively working in this direction.

PPP divisional general secretary Makhdoom Ali Hassan Gilani is stated to be active on behalf of his party high command to finalise the names of the five candidates. Besides, local leaders of the JUI-Fazl and the JI are also having consultations on the issue.

BOARD EXAM: Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education chairman Dr Mazhar Saeed says 107,240 candidates will appear in the matriculation examination in the three districts of Bahawalpur division.

As many as 263 centres have been finalised for the examination beginning on Thursday (tomorrow).

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2021

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