mardan - Former chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti is facing a tough contest from PPP, PML-N and JUI-F candidates on National Assembly constituency NA-9, Mardan-1 and provincial assembly PK-23 Mardan-1.

A tough contest is expected among Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and PPP candidate Shazia Aurangzeb, PML-N Nawabzada Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, JUI-F candidate Maulana Shujaul Mulk, though candidates of other parties, including PTI, JI are also in the run.

The NA-9 has traditionally been a stronghold of PPP and ANP as the nominees of both parties, including Mohammad Azam Khan Hoti father of Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and former federal minister Haji Yaqoob Khan who joined ANP, won the seat in the past.

However, Maulana Shujaul Mulk won this seat in the 2002 general elections and in 2008 elections Khwaja Hoti won this seat on ANP ticket and later on he joined PTI and resigned the seat and in the bye-election ANP candidate Himayatullah Mayar again won this seat.

Due to threats to Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, he is facing a lot of problems in his election campaign. Office-bearers and workers are utilising all resources to win both seats for him, as it has become a matter of survival for the party.

Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and ANP office-bearers are satisfied from the NA-9 seat. They claimed that they would easily win this seat.

They said that Ameer Haider Khan Hoti carried out development projects in the district, including Rescue 1122, Abdul Wali Khan University, Bacha Khan Medical College, Ameer Mohammad Khan Agricultural University, Children Hospital, ring road, Baiazi Irrigation Scheme, Ameer Mohammad Khan Mega Park and several others. They said that the neutral voters would also cast their votes in favour of Ameer Haider Khan Hoti.

They said that their opponents were wandering in streets, requesting people to vote for them but contrary to this people of Mardan in great number visited Ameer Haider Khan Hoti’s residence and told him that he did his job during the last five years and now they would fulfil their duty on May 11 to cast their votes in favour of him.

They said that on the basis of his performance Ameer Haider Khan Hoti would gain more than 55,000 votes on NA-9 constituency. However office-bearers and workers of PML-N also claimed that Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti would win this seat. The PPP and JUI-F also claimed that they would win this seat.

Former chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti is also facing tough contest on provincial constituency PK-23 from PML-N candidate Umar

Farooq Khan son of Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, PPP candidate Khan Khawas Khan and JUI-S candidate Ikramullah Shahid. Candidates of other parties, including PTI, JI are also in the run.

No party has clear vote bank in PK-23 but in past ANP and religious party’s alliance MMA

won this seat. However, there is vote bank of PPP, religious parties and ANP while majority of land located in this constituency is owned by Nawab family of Mardan and due to which there is also majority supporters of PML-N candidate Nawabzada Umar Farooq Khan son of Nawabzada Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti. Ameer Haider Khan Hoti won

this seat in 2008 elections.

ANP workers were much hopeful to maintain the seat and said that Ameer Haider Khan Hoti had completed record number of projects in this constituency when he was chief minister.

Independent observers said Ameer Haider Khan Hoti position was strong on both seats until now and he might win both seats if things did not change in the coming days as PML-N, PPP and JUI-F had also accelerated efforts to win these seats. However, the contest will be a close one and the margin of winning and losing candidates will be thin.