Sunday April 21, 2024

Three Karachi constituencies to prove challenging for PTI chairman in NA by-polls

By Arshad Yousafzai
August 09, 2022

KARACHI: There is a strong possibility that ruling alliance in the federal government will win by-elections to three National Assembly (NA) seats of Karachi fallen vacant after the NA Speaker accepted some of the resignations submitted by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs.

Political analysts believe in order to counter PTI’s victory in Punjab CM election, the ruling coalition, comprising Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP) and other parties, decided to have the resignations accepted of some PTI MNAs who had won 2018 general elections from their respective constituencies with a narrow margin or where the chances of ruling coalition to win the by-polls are high.

The three constituencies of Karachi that have fallen vacant are NA-237 District Malir, NA-239 District Korangi and NA-246 District South. The by-polls in these constituencies will be held on September 25.

In addition to these constituencies, by-election is also scheduled in NA-245 District East in August that fell vacant after the death of PTI MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain.

To ensure defeat of PTI in these three constituencies, the ruling parties in the Centre will most likely field a single candidate. According to political pundits, PPP, PMLN and their allies will support MQMP in NA-239 comprising areas of Korangi, whereas the ruling parties in the federal government will support PPP candidates in NA-237 comprising Malir areas and NA-246 comprising Lyari.

In the last general elections, difference of votes between the PTI and MQMP in NA-239 was only 350. In NA-237, the PPP had lost to PTI by 1,468 votes.

The margin of PTI’s victory in NA-246 in 2018 general elections was, however, large. Since Lyari has historically been a bastion of PPP, the party had fielded its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from here. But, in a major upset, PTI’s Abdul Shakoor Shad won the seat securing 53,029 votes. Bilawal even could not be the runner-up as Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) secured the second highest votes with 42,377 voters favouring it. The PPP chairman came third securing 39,347 votes.

However, the ruling parties believe it was a one-off upset and the people of Lyari would not support PTI again in large number in the by-polls.