MUZAFFARGARH: All candidates contesting elections have got composed election songs, mentioning their name and election symbol besides eulogising their public service in Muzaffargarh, Layyah, and Kot Addu districts.

These songs, sung by folk singers in Seraiki, have spiced up the election campaign – be it a corner meeting or a procession. Candidates and their supporters have uploaded those songs on social media sites to reach out the voters.

One such song starts with: Raza Rabbani hey, saday dil da jani hey (Raza Rabbani is our heart’s soul).

Candidates say that songs mentioning their names in Seraiki attract voters.

There is not a single candidate who has not arranged a dedicated song for their election campaign. The trend of songs was initiated by Pakistan People’s Party back in the 90s, and the Jamaat-i—Islami and the MQM also got their songs composed for elections time to time. The credit for making election songs a formidable campaign tool was, however, goes to Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), who touched the hearts of his supporters with songs sung by Ataullah Essa Khailvi, Ibrarul Haq, and Malko.

Talking to Dawn, several people said they often attend election campaign events only to hear these songs on fine sound systems, which thrill their emotions.

In Kot Addu, PPP candidate for NA-180 Raza Rabbani Khar, PTI candidate Mian Fayyaz Chajra, and PML-N candidate Qasim Hinjra have hired local singers for their party symbol and name songs. In Muzaffargarh city area, PTI’s Jamshed Dasti, PML-N’s Hammad Nawaz Tipu, and PPP’s Mehr Irshad hit the field with fast-beat songs. Local Seraiki folk singers are busy in the election campaign.In nearby constituencies, Basit Sultan Bukhari, and Jatoi brothers have pitched their songs among voters.

In earlier elections, candidates would hire drummers to keep their supporters active and elections used to be a peak time for drummers. This time, the situation has changed, election campaigners come to meetings with pre-recorded songs. These songs are played again and again before the candidates arrive.

Some candidates have arranged vehicles with built-in sound system starting the songs before speeches to engage voters.

Singer Shahzad Jani said he is busy day and night, making songs and singing them in rallies.

CLASH: A clash between two groups over a land dispute in the limits of Khangarh police in Muzaffargarh resulted in the death of 15-year-old Rashid due to a bullet injury.

There was a dispute over the possession of land between two groups of the Bhatti community, according to sources. On Jan 23, the police took the people of two groups in custody but released them without taking any precautionary action.

Political leaders intervened in the police operation and got the arrested people released, leading to the killing of the teenage boy.

Police have registered a murder case and started legal proceedings.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2024

To find your constituency and location of your polling booth, SMS your NIC number (no spaces) to 8300. Once you know your constituency, visit the ECP website here for candidates.

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