SARGODGA - A tough contest is expected as Pakistan People's Party candidate Syed Nusrat Ali Shah and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Mian Noor Hayat Kalyar are vying with PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif in NA- 68 Sargodha-V in the general elections.

The National Assembly constituency NA-68 is consisted of three tehsils including Sillanwali, Sahiwal and Shahpur along with three Punjab Assembly seats PP-36, PP-37 and PP-38.

The constituency has always been a stronghold of the PML-N since 1988. PTI's Mian Noor Hayat Kalyar is a veteran politician having a large number of clan votes as his cousin Asghar Hayat Kalyar was elected MPA from PP-37 in 2002.

On the other hand, the PPP candidate Nusrat Ali Shah was elected MNA on a PML ticket in 1985 and has also been a federal minister. Nusrat Shah has a huge clan vote bank whereas the PPP is also popular in the constituency.

With electioneering picking up, all the major parties like the PML-N, PPP and PTI are striving hard to win over the electorates to their sides by making pledges to change their plight if voted to power. Yet it is not clear who the voters would vote for on the polling day as only the time will tell whose word they take seriously on May 11, which is the election day.

Defection: The PTI leader from NA-103 Ch Ahmad Bukhsh Tarar has quit the party and announced to join the PML-N and said that he would support the N League candidates in the forthcoming elections.

According to PTI sources, Ch Ahmad Bukhsh Tarar is a close relative of outgoing MNA Saira Afzal Tarar and he was defeated in the intra-party elections of the district. They further said he has not been awarded PTI ticket to contest election from NA-103.