LAHORE: Although the PML-N has been undefeated from NA-120 (previously NA-95), this constituency has witnessed participation of noted national figures which include two former test cricketers and a retired air marshal in various general elections.
Once again, the NA-120 constituency is in the polling process and by-polls are scheduled to take place on September 17 as the seat has fallen vacant following the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court. Currently, the PML-N has fielded Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, PTI is in the race with Dr Yasmin Rashid and Faisal Mir is contesting as the PPP candidate. Zia ud Din Ansari is Jamaat-e-Islami candidate from NA-120.
Muslim League candidates under the banner of Islami Jamhuri Ittehad and later on PML-N ticket had been the winner on this seat throughout since 1985.
Between 1985 to 1997, in all five general elections Nawaz Sharif has been victorious from this seat but three times, he had been challenged by noted national figures or national heroes. Since 1997, the constituency was NA-95 and later in the 2002 general elections which were held under Pervez Musharraf and after fresh delimitations, the constituency carved out after the bifurcation of major chunk of previous NA-95 was NA-120.
In 1990 polls, two noted figures challenged Nawaz Sharif, the winner of this seat in the previous general elections. One was air marshal (Retd) Asgher Khan, who was the founder of Tehreek-e-Istaqlal, the same party from where Nawaz started his political career in late 70s. Asgher Khan was pitched as the joint candidate of PPP and Tehreek e Istaqlal under the alliance named Peoples Democratic Alliance.
Second noted figure was former test cricketer, fast bowler legend and hero of the 1954 Oval Test Fazal Mehmood, who was pitched as the candidate of Pakistan Awami Tehreek.However, on the polls held on October 6, 1990, Nawaz Sharif emerged victorious after a decent margin over the PDA candidate while bagging 59,944 votes. Asgher Khan of PDA got 39,585 votes and Fazal Mehmood of PAT could get only 1,497 votes.
Nawaz also won the 1993 general elections from the same seat with big margin against PPP candidate Zia Bakht Butt who got around 33,000 votes against 57,959 votes bagged by the PML-N president. Former chief minister Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar had also filed nomination from this seat but he didn’t participate in the electioneering process.
The constituency once again came under limelight in 1997 general elections when former captain of the Pakistani cricket team Imran Khan pitched himself against Nawaz in the first ever polls of his political career.
Imran Khan was leading his newborn political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and filed nomination from different seats of Punjab. From Lahore only, Imran contested from two NA seats including NA-94 (now NA-1220 and NA-95 (now NA-120).
The polls were held on February 1997 and like previous contests, the election match remained one-sided and Nawaz emerged victorious over Imran Khan with a margin of around 45,000 votes. Nawaz, being winner of the seat got 50, 592 votes followed by Hafiz Ghulam
Mohi ud Din of PPP who was runner up with 9,623 votes and Imran Khan stood number three with 5,365 votes.
However, in later polls, PTI showed a good vote bank and in 2013 general elections, Dr Yasmin Rashid bagged largest number of votes by any runner up from this seat. She got over 53,000 votes against Nawaz Sharif.