-Dawn
-Dawn

MUZAFFARGARH: As the candidates’ campaigns have entered the final phase, some front-line contenders set aside luxury vehicles in their electioneering, opting for old traditional tactics to connect with voters.

Dawn has learned that at the beginning of the campaign, after submitting nomination papers, candidates used expensive vehicles for processions and to reach public meetings, which presented their an affluent image. Towards the end of the electioneering drives, several candidates reverted to their traditional values, donning Pagg (turban) attire and riding horses or camels to portray a simpler, more rural image.

One such instance involves PPP candidate for NA-175 Mehr Irshad Ahmad Sial, who is trying hard to retain his seat. With a strong campaign, Mr Sial, on a visit to Muradabad for campaigning on Sunday, arranged a camel, symbolising a connection to traditional values. He sat on the camel, appealing for votes, and the people welcomed and appreciated this gesture. The candidate rode through the city streets on the camel, leading a rally in the city area. The rally swelled turning into a large public meeting.

In NA-179, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz candidate Malik Ghulam Qasim Hinjra also opted for a camel in his campaign in a public place.

The areas of Kot Addu and Muzaffargarh are known for camel fights during their mating season, and these fights draw huge crowd. Candidates are promising the people that after the February elections, camel wrestling matches featuring Rustam Pakistan camels would be organised.

An elderly man named Hashim expressed his unique request to the PPP candidate, asking for a fair camel fighting event. He said that while a majority of people demand roads and sewerage, several people also specifically requested a camel wrestling competition.

Mr Sial’s contender Jamshed Dasti of the PTI also rides a motorcycle to reach voters in narrow streets.

PPP candidates claimed that the government would be formed by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) through adjustments with independent candidates.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2024

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