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February 27, 2016

MULTAN City News


February 27, 2016

Triangular fight likely for NA-153 by-polls

From Nadeem Shah

MULTAN: A triangular fight is expected among the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for NA-153 by-polls.

The PTI has awarded ticket to Ghulam Abbas Khakhi while the PPP has issued ticket to party district president Malik Akram Kanhun and the PML-N has issued ticket to Rana Qasim Noon. It is learnt that Qasim Noon has been awarded the PML-N ticket after quitting the PTI. PML-N former MNA Dewan Ashiq Bokhari has fielded his son Dewan Syed Ghulam Abbas Bokhari as an independent candidate. Dewan Ashiq Bokhari was disqualified on an election petition filed by Rana Qasim Noon.

PML-N candidate Rana Qasim Noon had contested the last general elections on a PPP ticket from NA-153 but lost. After the general elections, Qasim Noon joined the PTI. Recently, he has joined the PML-N after quitting the PTI. PTI candidate Malik Ghulam Abbas Khakhi had also contested the last general elections on a PPP ticket from PP-205 but could not win. The PML-N and the PTI are banking on the losing candidates of the PPP of the 2013 general elections.

It is learnt that two Punjab Assembly constituencies - PP-205 and PP-206 - fall under NA-153 and both the PML-N MPAs - Mehdi Abbas Khan Langah from PP-205 and Naghma Mushtaq Laang from PP-206 – has opposed allotment of ticket to Qasim Noon due to local political differences.

The Jalalpur Pirwala political workers are of the view that rivalry between Rana Qasim Noon and PML-N MPA Mehdi Abbas Langah has been very old. PML-N Jalalpur Pirwala president Mushtaq Khan told The News that Rana Qasim Noon had been awarded a party ticket after a survey by party stalwarts Saud Majid, MPA Waheed Gull and Syed Tauseef Shah. He, however, said that the majority of local party workers rejected the survey.

An ex-student leader and senior political worker, Hafeez Shahzad Mayo, is of the view that the situation has created a tough time for Dewan family after failure to get a PML-N ticket. He says: “I believe this is a test case for Dewan family to defend their ancestral seat.” He, however, said that the Dewan family vote would be decisive in victory or defeat of the PML-N. Ghazanfar Khan, a political worker, is of the view if Dewan Syed Ghulam Abbas Bokhari contests the by-polls it would likely to hurt the PML-N.

Talking to The News, Dewan Muhammad Abbas said that his family had been contesting and winning elections from NA-153 since 1952. He said that his grandfather Dewan Ghulam Abbas, his uncle Dewan Jaffar Hussain Bokhari and his father Dewan Ashiq Bokhari had won elections right from 1952 to 2013. Dewan Muhammad Abbas claimed that the government had offered his family Multan District Council chairmanship but his family preferred to contest by-polls as an independent candidate.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan statistics, PML-N candidate Dewan Ashiq Bokhari had won the slot in 2013 general elections by securing 94,413 votes while PPP candidate Rana Qasim Noon obtained 90,179 votes. In 2008 general elections, Dewan Syed Ashiq Hussain Bokhari won the slot on a PML-Q ticket. In 2002 general elections, Dewan Syed Jaffar Hussain Bokhari of the PML-N won the slot by securing 57,209 votes. Rana Qasim Noon of the PML-Q got 55,395 votes while PPP candidate Syed Najaf Hussain Shah obtained 24,560 votes.

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