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June 6, 2018

Nomination forms issued: Electioneering begins in south Punjab


June 6, 2018

MULTAN: Electioneering has begun in south Punjab districts after the returning officers have started issuing nomination forms to the candidates, however, the serial numbers of all the seats have been changed with new constituency numbers besides change in constituencies’ maps, The News has learnt.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set new numbers of constituencies, starting from Khanewal, Multan, Bahawalpur and ending in Rajanpur, as compared to 2013 delimitations which started from Multan to Rahimyar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan and finally ended in Rahimyar Khan district.The new delimitations have allocated 46 national assembly slots in 11 south Punjab districts in Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions. At least 15 NA seats have been allocated for four districts in Multan division, including five in Multan, two Lodhran, four Khanewal and four in Vehari. In Multan district, Hashmis, Gilanis, Khakwanis, Qureshis, Ranas, Syeds, Bokharies, Noons and Dogars are fielding candidates from respective political parties.

The ECP has delimited five NA constituencies in Multan after changing the constituencies’ serial numbers. They are NA-154 Multan-I (previously NA-151 Multan-IV), NA-155 Multan-II (previously NA-150 Multan-III), NA-156 Multan-III (previously NA-149 Multan-II), NA-157 Multan-IV (previously NA-148 Multan-I) and NA-158 Multan-V (previously NA-152 Multan-V).

The Harajs, Dahas and Syeds would fight against each other in Khanewal. The ECP has allocated four NA constituencies for Khanewal district. They are NA-150 Khanewal-I (previously NA-156 Khanewal-I), NA-151 Khanewal-II (previously NA-157 Khanewal-II), NA-152 Khanewal-III (previously NA-158 Khanewal-III) and NA-153 Khanewal-IV (previously NA-159 Khanewal-IV).

In Lodhran district, the Baloch, Mirzas, Kanjoos, Tareens, Bokharis, Arians and Noon families have started conducting corner meetings in their respective constituencies. The ECP has allocated two NA constituencies for the district. They are NA-160 Lodhran-I (previously NA-155 Lodhran-I) and NA-161 Lodhran-II (previously NA-154 Lodhran I).

In Vehari district, Daultanas, Syeds, Chauhan, Jatts, Arians, Bathis, Menhais, Kichis and Khans are flexing their muscles for tough election fight in the coming days in almost all the constituencies. The ECP has delimited four NA constituencies in the district after replacing old numbers. The new constituencies are NA-162 Vehari-I (previously NA-167 Vehari-I), NA-163 Vehari-II (previously NA-168 Vehari-II), NA-164 Vehari-III (previously NA-169 Vehari-III) and NA-165 Vehari-IV (previously NA-170 Vehari-IV).

Tough contests are expected in Dera Ghazi Khan district where Khosas, Khawajas, Qaisranis, Legharis are lined up against each other, particularly after quitting the PML-N by Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa. The ECP has delimited three NA constituencies in the district, which included NA-189 Dera Ghazi Khan-I (previously NA-171 Dera Ghazi Khan-I), NA-191 Dera Ghazi Khan-II (previously NA-172 Dera Ghazi Khan-II) and NA-192 Dera Ghazi Khan-III (previously NA-173 Dera Ghazi Khan-III).

The ECP statistics have established that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had emerged as the largest party in south Punjab in 2013 general elections as compared to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party. PML-N had captured 33 National Assembly slots as compared to three PTI, two PPP, and nine independents and one slot by PML-Z in last general elections.

Similarly, the PML-N had captured 48 Punjab slots from Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions in 2013. The PTI could capture five slots, PPP two, JI one, Bahawalpur National Awami Party one, JUI-F one and MQM two from Bahawalnagar.

However, the PPP had captured majority seats in south Punjab after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2008 general elections and Pakistani voters backed the PPP when the party was passing through an ordeal. The PPP had emerged as the single largest party in south Punjab when the party had captured 22 NA slots as compared to PML-N 12, PML-Q 11, independent eight and no seat to PTI.

The PML-Q had performed better in 2002 general elections. It had captured 34 NA slots as compared to PPP 15, PML-N two, PML-Z one, Pakistan Shiite Political Party one, independent three and National Alliance six.

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