GUJRANWALA, Dec 19: The major political parties have given the biradari factor their fullest consideration while naming their candidates for the NA-96 (Gujranwala-11) constituency and the two covering seats of provincial assembly, PP-93 and PP-94.
The constituency is mainly dominated by the Arains, the Mughals, the Kashmiris and the Ansaris.
The NA-96 covers College Road, Gobindgarh, Farid Town (Chicherwali), Satellite Town, Kalarabadi, Ratta Bajwa Road, Popular Nursery and adjacent areas.
The numbers of registered voters in NA-96 are 345,090 while PP-93 and PP-94 have 159,698 and 185,382 voters, respectively. The NA constituency has 206 polling stations while PP-93 and PP-94 have 96 and 110 polling stations, respectively.
In 2002, MMA aspirant Maulana Qazi Hamidullah had won the election in NA-96 constituency by securing 39,181 votes. While PPP’s Khawaja Saleh and PML-N’s Engineer Khurram Dastagir got 24,434 and 20,398 votes, respectively.
MMA’s Mufti Farid had captured the PP-93 seat while Zahid Pervaiz of the PPP bagged the PP-94 seat.
In the January 8 elections, the PML-Q has fielded a noted industrialist, Imtiaz Ahmed Bhutta, for NA-96 while Lalla Zahid Usman and Khawaja Waqar Hassan for PP-93 and PP-94, respectively.
The PPP has retained Khawaja Muhamamd Saleh for the national assembly seat while Tariq Gujjar and Tariq Ali Mehr, the brother of former MPA Chaudhry Zahid Pervaiz, have been given the tickets for PP-93 and PP-94 seat, respectively.
Similarly, the PML-N has also retained Engineer Khurram Dastagir, son of former federal minister Ghulam Dastagir Khan, for NA-96 while Ashraf Ali Ansari and Saeed Mughal have been nominated for PP-93 and PP-94, respectively.
The MMA has fielded former MNA Maulana Qazi Hamidullah for the National Assembly seat while Hafiz Imran has been awarded the PP-93 ticket and Rana Muhammad Irfan the PP-94 ticket.
The election campaign of PML-Q aspirant Imtiaz Ahmad Bhutta was gaining momentum when he, after seat adjustment with MMA, had to withdraw his candidature in favour of MMA’s Maulana Qazi Hamidullah.
In return, the PML-Q is expecting to get the JUI-F support for its nominees in PP-93 and PP-94 seats. But Mr Hamidullah has reportedly refused to extend support to PML-Q candidates.
Political pundits are of the view that even the seat adjustment between the PML-Q and the MMA will not give an edge to the PML-Q candidate in NA-96 because voters are disappointed with the policies of MMA leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.