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National

July 14, 2018

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Tough contest likely in NA-118

NANKANA SAHIB: A tough competition is going to be held in NA-118 (previous NA-137).

There are total 371,715 registered voters in the constituency. The Election Commission of Pakistan will establish 316 polling stations in the constituency. At least 827 polling booths would also be established in NA-118.

The constituency is consisted of prominent areas, including city Nankana, Morr Khunda, Mandi Faizabad, Bara Ghar and Syedwala. Kharal, Bhatti, Rajpoot, Arain, Rehmani and Malik are the major bradaris of this constituency. It is pertinent to mention that bradaris, groups and political parties' vote bank will decide the fate of the candidate. PML-N has awarded ticket to former MNA Dr Shezra Mansib Ali Khan, daughter of former state minister late Rai Mansib Ali Khan Kharal. She entered the politics after the death of her father in 2015. She easily won the by-elections due to support of the then PML-N government. Rai Mansib Ali Khan Kharral won the 2013 elections but now the scenario is totally changed and she is facing severe opposition. There are many factors which stand in her way to the victory. The new delimitation has badly effected her campaign. Earlier, Kharral bradari had a huge vote bank in the old constituency but now this thing too has changed. Secondly, there was no coordination between her as MNA and the then two MPAs of PML-N, Malik Zulqarnain Dogar and Rana Jamil Hasan Khan. Many development projects could not completed due to their rifts. Even, the PML-N had to lose the chairmanship of Municipal Committee Nankana.

Independent candidate Ch Naeem Ahmed elected as the chairman of Municipal Committee Nankana by defeating the PML-N candidate. A large number of people constructed homes on the land of Evacuee Trust Property Board during the campaign of by-elections in 2015. These houses and constructions were later demolished after her winning the elections. Now, she is also facing strong resentment and anger of those people. Shezra has failed to solve the civic problems, including supply of clean water, sewerage and construction of roads. Locals were neglected during her tenure.

Rai Nawaz Ahmad Kharral group is supporting her opponent candidate. Like wise, influential personalities Rai Mushtaq Ahmed Kharral and Rai Zafar Kharral are supporting the PTI candidate. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf has awarded to ticket to former director general of Intelligence Bureau Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah, who is considered to be a very close friend of Pervaiz Musharraf. Earlier, he remained unsuccessful in the 2013 elections and the by-elections of 2015 but this time, his position is quite strong. He has the support of many prominent personalities and bradaris of the area. Moreover, PTI has its vote bank too in the area.

Pakistan People's Party has awarded ticket to former MPA and party’s divisional president, Rai Shah Jahan Bhatti. There was a time when Nankana was considered mini Larkana but now the party’s condition is quite pathetic here. The voters are disheartened and disappointed by the policies of the party. Former provincial minister Mahr Saeed Zafar is also contesting as an independent candidate. He contested the 2008 election as an independent candidate and elected as MNA. Tehrik-e-Labbaik has awarded ticket to Syed Afzal Hussain Shah, who is a prominent peer and figure of the area. He has the support of huge followers. A total 10 candidates are contesting the elections from the constituency but the real competition will be between the PML-N and the PTI candidates. The political pundits are giving an edge to PTI candidate Ijaz Shah.

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