Religious parties attract voters in large numbers


LAHORE: The religious parties, specially Allah-o-Akbar Tahreek (AAT) backed by Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) political face Milli Muslim League (MML), Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) made their presence felt by attracting a large number of voters at various polling stations of the provincial capital in general elections 2018.

MMA lead by Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, AAT of Hafiz Saeed and TLP led by Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi and were the prominent religious-cum-political parties which played an important role in these current elections.

Although TLP appeared in the general elections for the first time in the country, it attracted voters in various constituencies.

In NA-123, Shahdra, large numbers of voters were seen at various polling stations while the camps of its rival political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) faced tough situations.

The charged supporters of TLP continued roaming in the streets with the prominent slogans of the party while others were seen inviting voters with more rigorous calls as compared to their rivals.

Islampura, Shadman, Ichra, Mozzang, Samnabad, the area of Lakshmi and the area of Cooper Road were witnessed with the camps of TLP with apparent strong support as compared to other religious groups. Jamat-e-Islami (JI) and others including AAT seemed to have a similar support, which divided the voters of other parties.

Similarly, in NA-125, the TLP seemed to have support as they had established their camp just beside the wall of Punjab Assembly on Copper Road, the point from where NA-124 starts.

However, there was no camp of any religious group at this demarcating point except the PML-N, PPP and PTI. Likewise, no visibility of any religious group inside Gawalmandi, the area of PP-146, was observed while PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had the wind of favour.

In NA-133, Crane remained dominant over all other religious groups as the rush of voters was observed at its camps.  JI candidate and the candidate of Allah-o-Akbar were going almost the same. The surprising fact is that first time, the women also took out to support TLP at various camps, causing a dent to the support of major political parties.

In NA-125, which previously known as NA-120, once again seen with the winds of favour for TLP as compared to other political groups and according to independent observed, it was likely to get around 8000 votes. The major reason was the presence of a majority of Braveli school of thought in the area in the neighbourhood of great saint Hazrat Data Gung Bakash (a.r).

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed cast vote to AAT candidate Khalid Waleed for PP-167 in Wafaqi Colony area where the voters attracted to his party.  In NA-123, MMA and TLP fielded their candidates but JI and others did have their candidates. In NA-124, Sumaira Noreen was the candidate of TLP which attracted women while MMA had Muhammad Afzal for the national assembly seat and no other religious party had the candidate on the same seat.

In NA, 125, however, TLP, MMA and Allah-o-Akbar had the candidates and attracted a larger number of voters.  However, Waqas Ahmad was the only candidate of TLP for a national assembly seat in NA-126 and other parties did field their candidates. TLP had winds of support.

In NA-127, Rashid Ahmad Khan was the candidate of MMA, Muhammad Zaheer for TLP while Mian Amir Abbas for AAT but in NA-128, the AAT and TLP did not field their candidates, however, Manzoor Ahmad of MMA and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Islam’s leader Dr Ashraf Asif Ali Jalali took to the arena. Dr Jalali as compared to his rival had some support of the local voters.

JI leader Liaqat Baluch was the candidate of MMA in NA 130 while TLP fielded Hafizur Rehman but the other religious groups did not have their candidate for this national assembly seat.