Wednesday March 22, 2023

District East may go for PTI as it did in last general elections

January 15, 2023

Stretching from Lines Area to Safoora Goth, District East of Karachi is arguably the most diverse district in terms of demography.

The district has five towns — Sohrab Goth Town, Safoora Goth Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Jinnah Town, and Chanesar Goth Town. While Jinnah Town has 11 union committees (UCs), the remaining four towns in the district have eight UCs each, making a total of 43 UCs. The number of wards in the district is 172.

The district has various Mohajir-dominated areas along with pockets of Pakhtuns, Sindhis and people of other ethnicities.

A majority of the inhabitants of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Jauhar areas in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town are Urdu-speaking people. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami are expected to win most of the UCs in the district.

Although the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had defeated the alliance of the PTI and JI in the district in the 2015 local government polls, the Muttahida seems weak in the district this time.

The MQM-P even did not hold a proper electoral campaign this time and focussed on protesting against the issue of inconsistent delimitations of union committees (UCs).

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamat are other parties that ran campaigns in some UCs of Gulshan Town.

A large part of Gulistan-e-Jauhar lies in the Faisal Cantonment Board, due to which almost no political campaign was witnessed in the area prior to the local government elections. However, the area seems to be a stronghold of the PTI. During the cantonment elections in September 2021, the party managed to bag maximum seats from the Faisal Cantonment. Even in those wards where the PTI candidates did not win, they were at least runner-ups.

In Glushan-e-Iqbal Block 10, the JI seems strong. It also has a strong presence in Safoora Goth Town, but the PTI and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are also strong in the town.

In Chanesar Goth Town, the PPP seems strong. It is the same area that elected the incumbent Sindh labour minister Saeed Ghani to the Sindh Assembly. However, if any party can give a surprise in Chanesar Goth, it is the PTI.

In Sohrab Goth Town, the PTI is likely to win some UCS. In the rest of the UC, the main contest will be between the PPP, PTI and JI.

Jinnah Town on the one hand includes the underprivileged Lines Area and on the other hand, it has posh localities of Tariq Road and PECHS. Due to this, there might be mixed results in the town.

However, some political analysts believe that the PTI may emerge as a clear winner in this town as it recently won a by-election for the National Assembly constituency comprising the areas of Jinnah Town and defeated a joint candidate of its rival parties.

The number of polling stations set up in District East is 799, of which 200 are highly sensitive and 599 sensitive. A total of 3,235 candidates are in the fray, including 1,753 contestants for the seat of general member, and 741 each for the seats of vice chairman and chairman.

The total number of voters in District East are 1,454,059, including 672,815 female and 781,244 male voters.