ISLAMABAD: A neck to neck contest is expected between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate former district Nazim Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Maulana Muhammad Anwar for NA-36 Lakki Marwat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Formerly known as NA-27 before the recent delimitations, the NA-36 constituency covers the whole of the district of Lakki Marwat.
Local political observers said that all the candidates are busy in election campaigns but the contest will be between the PTI and MMA candidate.
In 2013 elections, the seat was won by PTI candidate Col (r) Amirullah Marwat while Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate was the runner-up on the seat.
The political experts said that once again PTI and MMA candidates are expected to give a tough time to each other, adding that both the political parties have strong affiliations at the grassroots level.
JUI-F leader, Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman also approached the spiritual leader of Zakori family, Pir Mohammad Fawad Raza Zakori, in DI Khan to get his support for the MMA candidates in Lakki Marwat.
Other candidates in the race for NA-36 include independent candidates Abdul Hayat Khan, Abdullah, Ameer Nawaz Khan, Ashraf Ali Khan, Aziz Khan, Gul Razan Shah, Haji Jamilur Rehman Nasir, Imran Nawab, Mansoor Kamal Marwat, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Idrees, Najibullah and Sher Afzal Khan. The PML-N has placed Imranullah Khan while PPP has placed Inamullah Khan in the race.
Head of Marwat Ittehad Group (MIG) Salim Saifullah Khan has decided to withdraw from election race on NA-36. The political experts said that the decision was taken in order to keep the alliance between Marwat Ittehad Group and PTI intact.
Former PTI MNA Col (r) Amirullah Marwat has also withdrawn his nominations papers to support his party’s candidate. Talking to APP, he said that he will support his leadership’s decision to issue a ticket to Ishfaq Ahmad Meenakhel for NA-36.