Tough competition expected in NA-65 as PTI backs PML-Q

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ISLAMABAD: As the elections draw near, the candidates from NA-65 (Talagang) are burning the midnight oil to win the upcoming elections as a tough contest is expected between candidates from Tamman family and Pervaiz Elahi, who has the backing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the constituency.

The Tamman family comprising Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman, Mansoor Hayat Tamman and Faiz Tamman have ruled in this constituency since 1988 after contesting the elections from the platform of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Islami Jamhoori Ittihad (IJI) and as independents.

Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman has been a member of National Assembly from this seat since 2010. The situation is, however, different now as Mumtaz Khan has announced to support Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of PML-Q as the PML-N did not give him a ticket.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sardar Mumtaz had defeated Mansoor Hayat Tamman and Pervaiz Elahi in 2010 by-elections and 2013 general elections respectively.

On the other hand, the PML-N has given the ticket to Muhammad Faiz Tamman who had resigned from NA seat in 2010 over his degree. He also remained the member of the lower house in 2002 and 2008 after defeating Pervaiz Elahi by 240 votes.

Similarly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has made seat adjustments with PML-Q from this constituency and did not give a ticket to anyone including Mansoor Hayat Tamman, former district president of PTI, prompting Mansoor to contest the elections as an independent candidate on the symbol of ‘jeep’.

This is likely to divide the vote bank of Tamman family as they have their own vote bank rather than that of a party.

The constituency has 546,848 voters which include Talagang, some portion of Kallar Kahar and Lawa after the new delimitations. The major clans in the constituency are Malik, Tamman, Syed, Awan, Niazi and Chaudhary.

Moreover, a tough competition is expected on provincial assembly seats PP-23 and PP-24.

Interestingly, the PML-N has awarded a ticket to Sardar Zulfiqar in PP-23 but he returned the ticket after getting the NA-64 ticket from PTI. On the other hand, the PTI has given the ticket to Sardar Aftab Akbar while the PML-N has allotted the ticket to Mushtaq Ahmed for PP-23.

Independent observers believe that PTI candidate Sardar Aftab Akbar has an edge over PML-N candidate due to Sardar Zulfiqar’s influence in the area.

The PML-N and PML-Q have awarded the tickets to Malik Shahreyar and Hafiz Ammar in PP-24 while the PTI is supporting the candidate of PML-Q for the provincial assembly seat.

Independent observers say that a close contest on this seat is expected due to Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tamman’s support to PML-Q.

A voter of NA-65 Aleem Malik told Pakistan Today that a good contest is expected on July 25 between the PML-N, independents and PML-Q backed by PTI.

Another voter of this area Muhammad Adeel said that they had given the vote to PML-N in last elections but have not decided yet who to cast vote for this time around.

“We will cast vote to those who will work for our constituency,” he added.