OKARA-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit to Okara and his address to a public gathering is being seen by the political pundits and opposition parties as campaign for the upcoming general elections.

The political circles especially noted the PM words when on the demand of MNA Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Nawaz Sharif said that he will visit the Rao’s constituency NA-146 before the month of Ramazan to announce development projects in Depalpur.

It is to be noted that PPP Central leader Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has a strong political base in NA-146 and NA-147, which fall in Depalpur tehsil.

In the general elections 2008, Manzoor Wattoo was elected MNA on both seats and later his son Khurram Jahangir Wattoo won the NA-147 by-election after his vacated it. In the general elections 2013, Moeen Khan Wattoo won the election from NA-147 and PP-192. But later he vacated the PP-192, which was won by, Manzoor Wattoo’s son Khurram Wattoo in the by-election on the PPP ticket.

According to local political pundits, Manzoor Wattoo has strong personal political footing in the constituencies. They expressed their optimism that the premier visit to Depalpur may boost Ajmal Khan against Manzoor Wattoo.

On the other hand, political circles say that the PM visit to Okara has boosted the political worth of Riaz Juj’s family as the PM was very happy over his address.

PML-N MPA Mian Muhammad Munir and former MNA Arif Chaudhry are not at good terms with MNA Riaz Juj who had won the National Assembly seat as an independent candidate against the PML-N ticket-holder and later joined the PML-N. However, as the PM confirmed his visit, MPAs - Mian Yawar Zaman and Mian Muhammad Munir had meetings with Juj’s family to make PM address to the public gathering successful. The same situation was observed during the election for Municipal Committee Okara chairman seat.

In the NA-145, PML-N MNA Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani is facing a challenge from senior anchorperson Jugno Mohsin who wants to contest the election from NA-145 as she and her spouse Najam Sethi have close relations with the Sharif family.

Similarly in NA-143, PML-N MNA Ch Nadeem Abbas Rubera who had been the Tehsil Nazim and MPA, has strong political ground in the constituency as his cousin PTI MPA Ch Masood Shafqat Rubera won against Nadeem’s younger brother advocate Ghulam Raza Rubera. In this constituency, Ch Khalilur Rehman, who belongs to Riaz Juj’s Family and has been a UC chairman is active in the area and aspiring for contesting to the National Assembly seat. Political pundits foresee that this situation will create political problem for Juj family as PML-N MNA Nadeem Rubera is already there and will never ready to lose the ground to an immature candidate. So it is the PML-N leadership who will have to face problems while awarding party tickets to candidates for the general elections 2018.