Political campaigning formally kicks off in NA-120

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  • PTI’s Yasmin says she contested against Nawaz in 2013, now she’s ready to fight Shehbaz
  • PML-N’s Bilal says this constituency has been PML-N’s stronghold, will remain that way

Political campaigning has formally been kicked off for the by-election of Lahore’s NA-120 constituency, as political parties have started holding public meetings with their workers. The National Assembly seat fell vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified Nawaz Sharif as Member National Assembly (MNA) soon after the Supreme Court (SC) disqualified the prime minister in a historic verdict. On Sunday, local leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), including MPAs Bilal Yasin and Majid Zahoor, have formally launched the campaign for the by-election of NA-120 after holding several public meetings in the constituency. It is worth mentioning here that Nawaz Sharif has given a go-ahead to his younger brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to become the PM after getting elected as MNA, a decision which was backed by the party.

PTI:

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)—the second largest party of Punjab—has decided to pitch Dr Yasmin Rashid in the by-election of NA-120, as she has also contested the election from the same constituency in 2013 against Nawaz Sharif, managing to grab more than 52,000 votes—the highest number of votes ever cast against Nawaz Sharif, who has a stronghold in Lahore. Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Yasmin said that she went door-to-door during her campaign in 2013, and she never stopped her political canvassing since then, while maintaining direct contact with each and every voter.

“Yes, we officially have started holding public meetings again for the by-election of NA-120 and a public meeting was organised on Saturday at Karim Park area to celebrate the Panama Verdict,” she informed. “The margin of my votes in 2013, as compared to Nawaz Sharif’s, was 39,345, where he got 91,666 votes and I grabbed 52,321.

“The vote margin between PTI and PML-N has now been decreased to 14,000 votes only, as PTI got 38,000 votes and PML-N grabbed 52,000 from all the union councils (UCs) of NA-120 during the local bodies elections held recently,” Yasmin said emphatically. PTI also managed to elect 12 councillors from 22 UCs that fall within the NA-120 and PTI candidates were runner up in 17 UCs, contesting on the seats of chairman, she added. “I contested against Nawaz Sharif in 2013 and now I am also ready to fight Shehbaz Sharif,” she said.

Syed Najam-ul-Hasan Gillani, a resident of Krishna Nagar, said that his vote will go to Imran Khan as PML-N failed miserably to deliver in the area. “The sewerage system is in shambles, while the roads and streets are also in a dilapidated condition in NA-120; Nawaz Sharif never bothered to visit his constituency during the last four years,” Gillani said, who runs a transport business in the area.

Shahzad Ahmed, a shopkeeper and resident of Mohni road, said that the game is over for Sharifs as they have now been exposed after the verdict of SC. “I’ll vote for Imran Khan as he promises to bring change in our rotten political system, and all the credit of Panama verdict goes to PTI chief,” Ahmed said. Naveed Bhatti, PTI’s candidate of Chairman UC-65 Islampura, said that PTI’s mass campaign has been in progress since 2013 and now NA-120 has become “a citadel of PTI.”

“Getting 52,000 votes against Nawaz Sharif is a great achievement of Dr Yasmin Rashid and we are sure that this margin will now be reduced, as our support base has been drastically increased during the last four years in this constituency,” he said.

PML-N:

The candidate of PML-N has not been decided yet but it is being predicted that Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif may be fielded in NA-120. Talking to Pakistan Today, UC-58 Sanat Nagar Chairman, Shahab Basharat, said that PML-N is in a strong position in this constituency, as all the UC chairmen are from his party, and it is a historical fact that PML-N has remained undefeated from NA-120. “Our candidate is not final yet but it seems that Shehbaz Sharif or Kalsoom Nawaz may be pitched as PML-N candidate,” he said, adding that they have been given the task to hold corner meetings on a daily basis in order to reach maximum voters.

On Sunday, MPA Majid Zahoor addressed a public gathering at Bilal Ganj area, saying that the PML-N is still intact and this by-election will set the direction for the next general elections. He also revealed that Shehbaz Sharif contested his first ever election from this constituency, and he knows everyone very well in the area. “There were conspiracy theories that PML-N will be broken after the Panama verdict but let me clarify that we are much stronger than before,” he said. Zahoor, however, admitted that there were some mistakes committed by them in awarding the tickets during local body elections.

Provincial Minister Bilal Yasin also held a public meeting at Mohni road and talked about the conspiracies hatched against Nawaz Sharif from the international powers. “This constituency has been a stronghold of PML-N and will remain that way,” Yasin claimed, while urging the workers to remain busy in the mass campaign. Malik Yousuf, a worker of PML-N from Sandha area, said that he has been giving his vote to Nawaz Sharif since long, and, this time, too, he will cast his vote to PML-N. Junaid Butt, a resident of old Anarkali, said that no one can defeat PML-N from this area because of Sharif’s strength in this constituency. “Nawaz Sharif lives in the hearts of the people because of his work. Look at the load shedding now, it has been decreased to only three to four hours contrary to the past when we used to get electricity only for five hours during the PPP government,” he said.

PPP:

Moreover, a public meeting of PPP was also arranged near Mohni road on Sunday at the residence of PPP’s ticket holder Mian Zubair Kardar. PPP’s Lahore president Aziz-ur-Rehman Chan confirmed, while talking to this scribe, that Kardar will be once again the candidate of PPP from NA-120, and the PPP will give a tough time to its opponents this time around. Jamil Akhtar alias Billa, a candidate of the councillor from UC-53 from PPP, said that he is happy that his beloved party is now reviving in Punjab. “I am associated with PPP since the time of Bhutto and never changed my loyalties in difficult times, despite lucrative efforts. Now, the workers are happy that the leadership of the party has been handed over to the young blood in the form of Bilawal, he added.

The ECP stipulates the by-election be held within 60 days after the seat falls vacant.

All eyes are now on the by-election of NA-120 as it will be one of the most significant elections in the political history of the country.

1 COMMENT

  1. Definitely the Shahbaz worked very hard and with all possible honesty/ dedications and act as a leader for the well being of the people of Punjab. On the other hand his elder brother remained in the P.M house for signing only. No policy matters were improved, never see the deepening crisis of economy, Never look into the matters of poor of this country and acted like a prince and KING or some kind of dictators. He seldom visited the National assembly, seldom met with the representatives or to dicuss the national important matters, never even arranged meeting to see the nose diving exports of the country and even nothing +ve to see the matter as ALL was given to Dastgir and Dar. They were both fond of protocols, listening yes from all govt servants, Only ordering for the good and for influential, were fond of working in the best interests of them selves or their favorites. There was no Foreign minister and it seemed to be no foreign policy and all were crying by their own. The ministry of commerce was fond of promoting the imports and doing nothing for exports’s promotion. They were mostly dumb sitting in the air conditioned offices doing nothing positive but otherwise all. Similarly mismanagement in all ministries remained at rise, least efficiency dragged to losses at all levels.We are still importing DOG’S and CAT’S foods whereas our own poor are having decreasing purchasing powers, majority of population is facing poor health and education facilities. The honorable Prime Minister never played on front foot with clarity, decisiveness, courage, Passions and humility. He never set some standards or targets for ministers around him and never moved with decisive self awareness with increased communications. The people around him remained mostly adulators, always praising
    and insincere. He seldom consult with Shabaz or other sincere people around him. The N.S had very weak team of ministers and advisers around him. Also it appeared from his body language that he is least interested in the governing the country in impressive way. He should have come in front foot with clarity, decisiveness, courage, Passions and humility. He must have set some standard or targets for ministers. The N.S and people around him wasted 4 very expansive years of this country and of poor nation. He sowed nothing for the nation so not achieved any thing for him.

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