Election roundup: Damp campaigns and hanging up the rainboots


It was a particularly slow day on the election front, mostly because of the spat of bad weather that has hit many parts of the country. With exactly three weeks to go in the polls, there seems to be little of the urgency that is usually associated with election season. Lahore, in particular, was left stranded with other problems as streets flooded and roads caved in.

It was a lot of rain, and in turn a messy situation. But even as WASA haplessly tried to do damage control, the jokes, the memes and the snide remarks practically wrote themselves. Comparisons to Paris and Venice were drawn, broadcast reporters pulled out the big guns and floated in kiddy pools on flooded streets to add some pizzazz to their stories and social media went into overdrive.

The questions were naturally directed at Mian Shehbaz, who himself was disserviced by the rains and had to cancel his scheduled visit to Kasur. Shame that he isn’t chief minister anymore, otherwise we all know how much joy he took in pulling out his rainboots and safari hat to go around plopping in the rainwater.

But with no photo ops at hand and only difficult questions to answer, the former CM stayed in and it was Imran Khan’s turn to shine in Lahore. The PTI chairman’s flight to Karachi was delayed because of the weather situation and he decided to take the few hours he had trudging around in the rainwater, Aleem Khan in tow, criticising the PML-N’s Orange Line project and water policy, before heading over to Karachi.

It was a good day for Imran, who got a few good soundbites in both Lahore and Karachi. It was made all the better by former PML-N Senator Zafar Ali Shah joining the PTI. That the man in question is Zulfi Bukhari’s father makes it even more interesting.

Speaking of the flooded streets in Lahore, one is reminded of jeeps and the great utility they could provide to Lahoris in the monsoon season. One person that doesn’t seem too excited about jeeps, however, is Maryam Nawaz, who says it is the electoral symbol of the ‘Khalai Makhlooq.’ Not only is a jeep Ch Nisar’s electoral symbol, it is also the symbol of the south Punjab defectors from the party, who Mian Nawaz has claimed were ‘persuaded’ by certain forces. Wonder who he’s referring to.

Of course, Maryam’s aversion to jeeps is perhaps an old one, seeing as her father was once carried away in one way back in 1999. With the judgment in the Avenfield case having been reserved until Friday and Maryam and Mian Nawaz mulling coming back, they will be praying that they aren’t carried away in any sort of vehicle this time.

For the nerds:

The ECP has released more numbers for those that are into that sort of thing. Apparently, there are 12,570 people competing for 849 national and provincial seats. Those aren’t the greatest odds at first glance, and whoever does end up winning, there is going to be a whole lot of heartbreak and grumbling at the end of it.


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