RAHIM YAR KHAN - The political scenario of Rahim Yar Khan district, that consists of six National Assembly and 13 Punjab Assembly constituencies, has been changed after Makhdum Ahmed Mehmud has joined the Pakistan People's Party and become the Punjab governor, and on the other side, Makhdum Ahmed, Alam Anwar and Raees Munir have joined the PML-N.

Mehmud was Punjab president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional. The share of PPP was four NA and seven PA seats in the general elections of 2008 while PML-N and PML-F got one National Assembly seat each.

In three PA constituencies, the PML-F got three seats, PML-Q two seats and PML-N got only one seat. In the current political scenario when the last government of PPP has promised with the people of South Punjab to form Seraiki province, the party gave the governorship slot to a supporter of movement for restoration of Bahawalpur province. Nevertheless, Makhdoom Shahabuddin seems annoyed on the governorship of Mehmud, according to some PPP sources because this decision was made without his consultation.

On the other side, Makhdoom Ahmed Alam Anwar who joined PML-N recently with the efforts of Senator Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar is also being considered a strong candidate who will face Khawaja Qutab Fareed Koraija.

The PPP local leaders think that their party is now in a strong position. NA-196 is the most important constituency for all political parties as it consists of mostly urban areas and south eastern villages. In the last two elections, the PPP candidates, Zafar Iqbal Warriach and Javaid Iqbal Warriach, succeeded. Now, Javaid Iqbal will be the PPP candidate while the PML-N has nameed Mian Imtiaz Ahmed as its candidate in the constituency.

Majority of the people belong to Arain family in the city as well as village areas of the constituency but they are not united. Jutt and Rajput families are other major voters of the area and most of them are supporters of the PPP. During the last 10 years, a many personalities of Arain family joined the PML-N and were expected to be awarded party tickets. But the PML-N awarded ticket to Mian Imtiaz Ahmed who changed his loyalties in the last election and joined the PPP.

In 2008, the PPP issued ticket to Javed Iqbal Warraich and Mian Imtiaz contested as independent candidate but could not win the elections. As per an analysis, Makhdoom Mehmood is supported by about 30,000 voters in all the six National Assemblies constituencies each while about 15,000 the provincial assembly constituencies each.

For the NA-193 seat, Mian Abdul Sattar of PPP, PTI's Anwar and PML-N's Sheikh Fayazuddin are expected candidates. NA-195 is the stronghold of Ahmed Mehmood and his son Mustafa Mehmood is PPP candidate while in NA-197, Murtaza Mehmood, the governor's another son, is PPP's candidate.

Political parties are working for the selection of their Punjab Assembly candidates.

In PA-285,286,291,292,293 and 295 constituencies, the PPP while in PA-287,288,289,290,294,296 and 297, the PML-N are considered to be strong parties. The PML-N's candidate for NA-192 is Makhdom Ahmed Alam Anwar, for NA-193 Sheikh Fayyazuddin, NA-194 Makhdom Moeen Hashmi, NA-195 Makhdom Immaduddin, NA-196 Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, and for NA-197 Arshad Leghari is the candidate.

For Punjab Assembly's PP-285 seat, Masood Alam is the PML-N's candidate while for PP-286 no candidate has been named so far due to its alliance with the PML-F.

However, for PP-287, Mian Islam Aslam is the PML-N's candidate, for PP-290 Ch Ejaz Shafi, PP-289 Mian Tahir, for PP-293 Umer Jaffar Iqbal, PP-294 Mehmood Cheema and for PP-296 Ch Muhammad Shafique.

The alliance of religious parties may affect the elections results in the urban areas of the district. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has also emerged as popular parties in all 122 union councils of the district.