Taxila - Harsh weather and Ramazan has failed in slowing down electioneering in the twin cities of Taxila and Wah Cantonment as almost all major political parties have launched a fierce election campaign to get the support of the masses for upcoming general elections as President Mamnoon Hussain approved the date for the general election in the country i.e. July 25.

During the last week of May, political temperature in the historical city of Taxila is rising with each passing day just like the temperature as leaderships of PTI and the ruling PML-N are flexing their muscles for the upcoming general elections. Candidates have steamed up their electioneering and electoral hustles and are gaining momentum. A tug of war has begun between the candidates of different political parties for the upcoming general elections as all major political parties have shifted to electioneering mode as almost all major political parties including the ruling PML-N, PTI and JI have launched their electioneering campaign through luring and attracting voters on the pretext of lavish iftar dinners in air conditioned wedding halls. The JI has already announced 30 days iftar dinner program in almost each and every corner of twin cities of Taxila and Wah Cantonment to mobilize its intact supporters and fetch voters on the pretext Quran program. On the other hand PPP, PAT and local pressure political group of Faisal Iqbal known as Edhi of Wah is still in silent mode and hasn’t launched formal electioneering in the area. The ruling PML-N and PTI, two major political powers of the area have already launched electioneering drive and in a bid to get voters sympathies they continue to hold iftar dinners which were addressed by local party heads  Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

According to political pundits, though JI, PPP and independent candidates will also be contesting the elections, however according to them the real contest will be between PTI and PML-N for two provincial assembly seats in Rawalpindi IV PP-19 (Taxila) and PP-20 (Wah) and national assembly constituency NA-63.

Taxila, once known as the stronghold of the PML-N, was swept by PTI in the 2013 elections as it grabbed one national and two provincial assembly seats. However, after sudden demise of Sadeeq Khan who was victorious against PML-N stalwart Ch Nisar Ali Khan in general elections, his seat was reclaimed by PML-N candidate Umer Farooq who belongs to a financially strong background. The two powerful archrivals, PML-N stalwart Ch Nisar Ali Khan and PTI Vice President and elected member national assembly from area Ghulam Sarwar Khan are locked in an intense neck to neck electoral battle. Chaudhry Nisar presently enjoys a strong political position and has a good following among major families in the area. The mega projects he announced recently could further boost his vote bank. The political landscape of the constituency has completely changed after Sarwar Khan joined the bandwagon of the PTI. The popularity of Sarwar Khan has also increased after he joined PTI. It may be noted that Sarwar Khan from Pind Nousheri represents the Khattar clan that largely is entrenched in the adjoining areas of Taxila and Wah. The constituency, which is inhabited by Rajput, Khattar, Kashmiri, Syed and Gujjar families, is part of the Potohar region that traditionally follows the election trends in the Rawalpindi city.

PTI has already announced its candidates for two provincial assembly seats i.e. PP-19 (Taxila) and PP-20 (Wah) and national assembly constituency NA-63.However, PML N  has not finalized its candidates ,Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has announced to contest for the national assembly seat from Taxila but he hasn’t made it clear whether he would also contest on both Provincial assembly seats from here or not as it creates ambiguity among aspirant candidates especially the present member provincial assembly Haji Umer Farooq who is sailing to contest  the polls from Wah instead of Taxila due to the tough opponent from PTI while inside sources have revealed that there was resentment among the local PML-N workers against Haji Umer Farooq due to his lack of coordination with the loyalists.

 

He had not played any role in solving the public’s problems despite several protests in front of his house and office so he decided to contest polls from PP-20 instead of PP-19. Political observers believe that the PML-N would have to face several challenges this time as the party’s vote bank will be divided.