LAHORE - JAWAD RAWAN -  Considering the provincial capital as the major electoral battleground of PTI, Imran Khan formally launched his party’s election campaign from NA-122 on Saturday.
The PTI launched its election drive from the provincial metropolis through ‘Tabdeeli Express Rally’ which was led by Imran Khan in a special container decorated with banners of the party slogans, flags and his photographs.  The election rally started from the PTI office on The Mall which is a part of NA-122, the constituency from where Imran Khan would contest the general elections.
The PTI rally, led by its party chief, also toured NA-118, 119, 120 and 121. Hamid Zaman, Muhammad Madni, Dr Yasmin Rashid and Barrister Hammad Azhar, candidates from these constituencies, also participated in the rally.
The PTI chairman was received by a good number of supporters on his arrival in the five constituencies of the city while the most enthusiastic welcome was given to Imran Khan in NA-122 in which Imran would face PML-N candidate Ayaz Sadiq in the general polls.
Launching the party’s electoral drive from the provincial capital has boosted the morale of the PTI workers who were preparing for a showdown with the mighty PML-N that claims Lahore as its stronghold.
The enthusiastic PTI candidates and workers, talking to The Nation, claimed: “Lahore is no more a stronghold of any political party as PPP and PML-N leaders are joining Imran to bring a real change in the country. A group of PML-N leaders from Sadar Cantt and Malik Asif Jehangir, former PPP candidate from PP-155 which also falls within the Canttt limits, have joined PTI.”   Imran inaugurated the party election offices in NA-118, Shahdara, NA-121, Main Boulevard, Gulshan Ravi and NA-122, Samanabad. Imran would complete the party’s election drive in Lahore in three to four phases. He completed the first phase on Saturday by touring National Assembly constituencies, 118, 119, 120, 121 and 122.
Local political gurus, while attaching importance to the launch of formal election campaign of PTI from the provincial capital under the leadership of Imran Khan were of the opinion that the party which was mobilising its voters should plan to take them to polling stations on the election day.
According to them, Imran’s factor is surprising and confusing at the same time, but he and his party will rewrite the history of 1970 elections if they succeed in turning the tables on major political forces in the general elections.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan, addressing a rally at Data Darbar, said the people of Lahore would make a new history on May 11 by giving him mandate for change and rejecting loan defaulters as well as those who failed to maintain law and order, increased the prices of various essential items and could not solve the loadshedding problem. He alleged PPP and PML-N were equally responsible for corruption and mismanagement of the last five years. He added those who wasted billions of rupees of public money on flopped projects had no right to come to power again.
He said youth, being the major wing of the party, would reach each door of the provincial capital and other parts of the country to convince the masses to reach polling stations for the sake of progress, peace and prosperity.