LAHORE - An interesting electoral battle during the upcoming elections is going to be fought in Larkana between Ghinwa Bhutto and Faryal Talpur. Faryal, who returned to the National Assembly unopposed in 2008 elections, might be facing a tough competition this time around from her rival parties. Besides Ghinwa, the widow of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, a number of candidates belonging to different political parties have filed their nomination papers from NA-207 to contest against Faryal Talpur who happens to be sister of President Asif Ali Zardari. She is also calling shots these days in matters relating to award of PPP tickets, especially in Sindh. 

The PML-N has fielded Amir Bakhsh Bhutto, b, from the Larkana constituency. Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro and Obaid Balolai are JUI-F and MQM candidates respectively. Ghulam Shabbir Lashari and Muhammad Mithal are also in the run as independent candidates. 

During the 2008 elections, all opponents withdrew their nomination papers at the last moment, and Faryal, being the only candidate left in the field, was declared successful. But many believe that this is not going to happen this time. There is a possibility that PML-N, JUI-F and MQM may withdraw their candidates in her favour as a result of some seat adjustment with the PPP, there is a remote possibility of Ghinwa Bhutto doing the same. After the assassination of Mir Murtaza, she has turned out to be an arch rival of Zardari and Bhutto families. Her relations with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari had never been cordial. 

Sources in the PML-N said that it would be a very difficult decision for the party leadership to withdraw its candidate from NA-207, especially when the contender happens to be the son of Mumtaz Bhutto whose National Peoples Party was recently merged with the PML-N. Under such a situation, Faryal is less likely to have a smooth sailing during the upcoming polls. Though traditionally, this seat has been won by the Bhutto family, it cannot be said with certainty if they would be able to retain it again in the presence of strong opponents. Ghinwa is also contesting from another seat in Larkana-NA-204 and also from a seat in Layari (Karachi).