Saturday July 20, 2024

Optimistic about winning LG polls in Karachi, PTI opts to go solo

By Zia Ur Rehman
July 10, 2022

KARACHI: The top brass of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has asked its provincial organisation to ramp up its campaign for the local government polls in Karachi to be held on July 24 and hinted at sending former prime minister Imran Khan and other leaders to the city to address election rallies after Eid-ul-Azha.

PTI Sindh president and former federal minister Ali Zaidi Friday announced the party would run its campaign under the slogan ‘Khuddaar, Khudmukhtaar Karachi” (dignified, self-reliant Karachi).

“The city of Karachi needs a dignified and empowered mayor,” Zaidi said in a statement. “The person who is dignified cannot be a salve”, he remarked.

Zaidi said PTI was the largest party in Karachi and the upcoming mayor of the metropolis would be from the party.

In the last local government polls held in December 2015, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-Pakistan) won the majority of seats in the metropolis, defeating an alliance of PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), ruling Pakistan People’s Party and other political parties and brought its mayor.

However, in the 2018 general polls, PTI emerged as the largest political party in Karachi by winning 14 out of 21 National Assembly seats. The Imran Khan-led party also conquered the areas of Azizabad, Korangi and Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the political fortresses of MQM-Pakistan. The PTI candidate defeated PPP supremo Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the party’s traditional stronghold of Lyari.

The PTI leaders are optimistic the party still enjoys its support base among the city’s residents and would win the majority of seats in the local government polls.

Two of the PTI’s MPAs and senior leaders — former opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and parliamentary leader Khurram Sher Zaman — are also taking part in the polls from UC-11 (Saddar Town) and UC-2 (Jinnah Town) respectively. It shows that both the leaders are PTI’s likely candidates for the mayor’s post.

“Of Karachi’s 246 union committee constituencies, PTI has fielded candidates from 241 union committees,” Arsalan Taj, PTI Sindh secretary information and MPA, told The News. The PTI has also opted to go solo in the elections. He said Chairman “Imran Khan’s visit to Karachi, most probably after July 17, will boost the party’s electoral campaign in the city”, he hoped.