SIALKOT-The real threat to the PML-N and PTI candidates in NA-74, Sialkot-III are the disgruntled leaders as they are contesting the general elections as independent candidates after being denied the party tickets.

They have formed their own political panels and are giving tough time to their respective party candidates. PML-N's bigwig Zahid Hamid, former federal law minister, fielded his son Ali Zahid as PML-N candidate in the constituency against PTI's Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas, the former provincial general secretary of PPP Punjab, who recently joined PTI. Nargis Faiz Malik is also in the election race as PPP candidate.

After his resignation as federal law minister followed by nationwide strong protest against the alleged attempt to amend the Khatam-e-Nubuwwat Act by the PML-N government, Zahid Hamid brought his son Ali Zahid in local politics.

Zahid Hamid also played a leading role in the dropping of former MPAs Ch Munawar Ali Gill and Rana Liaqat Ali as the PML-N leadership not awarded party tickets to them. Now they are contesting polls against PML-N candidate in NA-74 and in PP 39, Sialkot-V and in PP-40, Sialkot-VI as independent candidates.

The PTI also took a major U-turn and it changed its candidates in both the constituencies. It withdrew its party ticket from Barrister Mansur Sarwar Khan and awarded it to PPP's dissident Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas in NA-74.

In PP-39, it took back its ticket from Dr Tanveerul Islam, the PPP's dissident and former provincial minister, and awarded it to Saif Mansur Khan, the son of PTI's disgruntled leader Barrister Mansur Sarwar Khan. Former hockey player Muhammad Asif Bajwa, who also remained unable to get PTI ticket, is contesting the polls as an independent candidate against PTI's candidate Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas in Pasrur city's constituency.

However, a neck-and-neck contest is expected between PML-N's candidate Ali Zahid and PTI candidate Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas though they are facing strong challenges and tough time by the local disgruntled leaders.

Constituency NA-74 is now consisting of Pasrur tehsil and several other rural areas of Narowal tehsil. The number of total registered voters is 475868 in the constituency including 262838 male voters and 207328 female voters. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has established as many as 383 polling stations for holding polling for July 25, 2018 general elections.

Zahid Hamid is three times winner from this constituency in 2013 and 2008 general elections as PML-N candidate. He won 2002 general elections during Gen Musharraf Regime as PML-Q candidate. Zahid Hamid got 73529 votes as PML-Q candidate in this constituency in 2002 general elections. He also got 62362 votes as PML-N candidate and won the 2008 general elections besides winning the 2013 general elections by getting 131468 votes as PML-N candidate.

PML-N and PTI have brought new faces against each other in this constituency. They are facing very strong criticism and tough time by their local disgruntled leaders, who remained unable to get the party tickets. The annoyed leaders were much annoyed with the top leadership. The unhappy leaders from both the sides are giving tough time to both the PML-N and PTI besides harming their vote banks as well.

The political differences between Ali Zahid and Ch Munawar Ali Gill cropped up when they refused to contest the polls under Ali Zahid. They said that Ali Zahid was much junior to them in politics. Former MPA Ch Munawar Ali Gill refused to contest under Ali Zahid, saying he was very junior to him in politics.

Ali Zahid also opposed Ch Munawar Ali Gill's name while award of the party tickets. However, Zahid Hamid remains successful in getting out Ch Munawar Ali Gill from PML-N candidates. Ch. Munawar submitted his nomination papers against PML-N candidate in the constituency.

PML-N's former MPA Rana Liaqat Ali is also contesting polls against PML-N's candidate as an independent candidate. Rana Liaqat Ali submitted his nomination papers after being rejected by PML-N top leadership.