MANDI BAHAUDDIN - District Mandi Bahauddin consists of two National Assembly and five Punjab Assembly constituencies - NA-108, NA 109, and PP-116, PP-117, PP-118, PP-119 and PP-120. In NA-108 and its corresponding PP-116, PP-117 and PP-120, people belonging to different clans reside. Politically strong and dominating clans are Tarar, Warriach, Gondal, Ranjha, Rajas and Gujar. In addition, there are a large number of people belonging to Muhajir clan in Mandi city and they are mostly businessmen. They form 33% of the population of Mandi city and living in suburban villages, they have strong vote bank in PP 116. Majority of them are supporters of the PML-N with their leaders including Devan Mushtaq and Hameeda Waheed. Some of them support the PPP and their leader is Devan Shameem who is also District president of the PPP. Main political parties like the PPP and PML-N have a large number of workers but nobody from these constituencies is in position to win any seat independently. The PPP, PML-N and PML-Q have strong roots among the masses. Their local leaders also play a key role to win sympathies of the people by sharing their sorrow and joy. They help them get relief from local administration when in trouble. In 2002, the PML-Q was backed by Gen (r) Musharraf, thus some local leaders of the PML-N along with their followers changed their loyalties and joined the PML-Q. This helped PML-Q win NA-108 seat and its corresponding seats of PP- PP-116, PP-117 and PP-120. During Elections 2002, the PML-Q fielded Ijaz Chaudhry as its candidate who won the seat bagging 70,060 votes. Zufrullah Tarar of PPP was the runner up with 60,424 votes. Syed Muhammad Mahfooz Mashadi contested election on the ticket of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and obtained third position with 37,422 votes. There was no candidate from PML-N in this constituency. Similarly, Hameeda Waheed of the PML-Q was candidate in PP-116. He won the seat securing 33,122 votes. Safia Begum, wife of Devan Mushtaq, contested election on the PML-N ticket and was second with 14,942 votes. Muhammad Aslam of PPP was placed at third position as he got 14,365 votes. Riaz Asghar of the PML-Q secured 34,465 votes and won the seat of PP-117. Ali Ranjha of PPP became second, securing 31,019 votes. Muhammad Bashir Qazi secured 10,066 and was third in the contest. Muhammad Arif Chhimoana of the PML-Q contested election from PP-120 and won the seat with 20,323 votes while Ahmed Faraz Mangat of the PPP secured 19,536 votes and was runner-up. Muhammad Akram Gondal of PML-N was third with 12,703 votes. In 2008 Elections, Tariq Tarar of PPP won the NA-108 seat by securing 73,951 votes while his rival Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry contested election as an Independent candidate and secured 67,769 votes. Mumtaz Tarar candidate from PML-N withdrew his nomination papers in favour of Ijaz and PML-N supported Ijaz during election campaign to defeat PPP candidate Tariq Tarar. Zafrullah Tarar of the PML-Q was third with 39,789. According to PP 116 election results, Tariq Sahi of PPP won the seat bagging 27,403 votes while Faiza Mushtaq of PML-N was second with 22,799. Hameeda Waheed of the PML-Q got 19,338 votes and got third position. Similarly, PP 117 seat was won by Asif Bashir Bhagat of the PPP with 30,627 votes. Basma Chaudhry of the PML-Q secured 28,803 and became second. Syed Tariq Yaqoob of the PML-N was third with 21,682 votes. Tariq Mahmood Aloana of the PPP contested election for the PP-120 seat and got 31,029 votes. His rivals Muhammed Arif Gondal of PML-Q and Ghulam Rasurl Gondal of PML-N secured 21,854 and 14,621 votes respectively. Political parties' local leaders and workers have been activated after President Asif Ali Zadari's visit to Malikwal. The PPP vote bank is strengthened by Nazar Gondal Federal Minister, MNA Tariq Tarar by helping educated youth to get jobs in various government departments. Parents and relatives of such youth are pleased with the PPP will surely add to its strength. Benazir Income Support Scheme and education scheme is another factor that has created a positive impact on downtrodden and indigent. Thousands of people in the district are beneficiaries of such programmes of the PPP and they would definitely vote for PPP candidates in the upcoming general elections. It is expected that Tariq Tarar would be the PPP candidate for NA-108. In PP-116 Tariq Sahi and Hassan Aslam are aspiring to get the party ticket. In PP-117, Asif Bhaghat is expected to be named as candidate. Basma Chaudhry is also keen to contest election on the PML-Q ticket in case the alliance between PML-Q and PPP continues. For PP-120, Tariq Aloana is likely to be PPP candidate. The PML-N would have problem in nominating candidates. Mumtaz Tarar and Ijaz Chaudhry are trying to get ticket for NA 108 seat. Similarly, there is competition between Devan Mushtaq and Hameeda Waheed for getting ticket for PP 116. For, PP-120, again there are two aspirants - Arshad Kakko and Akram Gondal. Syed Tariq would get ticket for PP 117. PTI local leaders are working hard to increase vote bank of the party. Prominent among them are Shahid Ranjha and Falik Sher Ranjha. They have yet to go long way to reach a position where they could defeat the mainstream parties. The Jamaat-e-Islami is also active and has nominated candidates for NA-108, PP-116 and PP-117. Riaz Sahi would contest election for NA-108 whereas Ihsan Sahi and Sufi Riaz Warriach would contest the election for PP 116 and 117 respectively. Riaz Warriach is a social worker and has gathered a large number of farmers on the platform of Kisan Board. He is likely to give tough time to his rivals during elections. Other political parties including MQM, Tameer-e-Pakistan, Mustaqbil Pakistan, JUI-N, Minhajul Quran have a number of workers in the district. Syed Mahfooz Mashdi in the past elections secured considerable number of votes. He is very close to Nawaz Sharif. There is likelihood that he would ally with PML-N and contest elections for PP-120.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 06-Jan-2013 here.