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July 23, 2018

Fierce battle in NA-135 as Khokhars face Khokhars


July 23, 2018

LAHORE: The entire NA-135 constituency is buzzing with a feverish door-to-door election campaign with the strongest contest belonging to the same clan, Khokhar. With Malik Saif ul Malook and Malik Karamat Khokar pitched against each other, the electoral battle becomes fierce under the banners of two biggest political rivals of our times, namely PML-N and PTI, respectively.

The newly-created National Assembly constituency with three provincial assembly seats (161-170 & 173) has a total number of 256,481 voters and 543 polling booths. It mainly comprises the section of Lahore City Tehsil along Multan Road and also includes smaller areas of Model Town Tehsil and Raiwind Tehsil.

The main contestants include Malik Saif ul Malook, Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar, Ameer ul Azeem, Amjad Jutt, Gohar Ali Khan, Muhammad Ahmad Majeed, Maryam Raza and Malik Toaqeer Abbass Khokhar.

Malik Saif ul Malook made his electoral debut in 2010 by-election on PML-N ticket after it got vacated due to the disqualification of the sitting MPA at that time. Malik Saif defeated Malik Zaheer Abbass Khokhar, former PPP MNA of 2002, after a very tough fight amid the allegations of rigging. In 2013, Saif won once again and got elected as MPA from PML-N.

Malik Karamat Khokhar was elected as MPA in 1993 on PPP ticket in this constituency (then NA-99). Due to the graduation restriction, Karamat could not contest 2002 polls and he fielded his nephew and son–in-law Malik Zaheer Khiokhar, who won the seat as PPP candidate against PML-N’s stalwart Sardar Kamil Umar.

Later this group joined PPP-Patriot but Karamat remained with PPP and was its candidate from NA-128 in 2008 general elections , which he lost to Afzal Khokhar of PML-N. In 2013, Karamat Khokhar, representing PTI, lost to Afzal Khokhar of PML-N.

Amjad Ali Jutt, a PPPP stalwart and candidate for MNA for the 2018 elections, has never won a seat from this constituency. Another renowned figure and a senior member of the Jamaat e Islami Pakistan is also contesting for MNA’s seat from this constituency as a MMA candidate.

Maryam Raza is the only female contestant for the MNA’s seat in this constituency. She belongs to Pak Sarzameen Party. The highly charged and completely unpredictable political climate in this rural-cum-urban area is buzzing with the excited sounds of slogans being chanted by the workers, supporters and voters. Such sounds can be heard in every street and chowk of the constituency.

The PML-N and PTI’s banners, hoardings and flexes with the glittering pictures of the candidates and their supporters and catchy slogans on them have completely changed the whole area’s skyline, giving it a colorful look. The supporters and workers of the PML-N and PTI are sure of the victory of their respective candidates, but it would be decided on the election day as to who wins.

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