SIALKOT/GUJRANWALA/GUJRAT - A tough contest is expected between the PML-Nawaz, PML-Quaid and PPP candidates in the by-elections to Sialkot's constituencies of PP-122 and PP-129, Gujranwala PP-92 and NA-107 on Tuesday (today).

In Sialkot, the provincial assembly two seats fell vacant after the disqualification of PML-N MPAs Chaudhry Ikhlaq Ahmed and Chaudhry Jamil Ashraf Baryar for possessing dual citizenship. The PPP and PML-Q have fielded their joint candidates to give a tough time to the PML-N. It will be a local holiday today in the entire Sialkot district.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has established as many as 127 polling stations, 52 for men, 52 for women and 23 for both, in the PP-122 constituency. As many as 1,61,859 registered voters, including 90,114 males and 71,745 females, would cast their votes. In PP-129, the ECP has established 129 polling stations.

According to ECP officials, foolproof arrangements have been made to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections in the two constituencies. Although the PML-N is confident of re-clinching the two seats with majority, the PPP backed by the PML-Q is all set to give it a tough time.

The PML-N has fielded an exporter-turned-politician Chaudhry Muhammad Ikram, who belongs to the Araayin clan, in PP-122 (Sialkot II), which consists mostly of urban areas. It may be mentioned here that the said clan has had a significant political say in the area. On the other hand, the PPP has fielded Raja Aamir Khan, another business tycoon and party's provincial information secretary. Although there are five candidates, the real contest is between candidates of the PPP and PML-N. In PP-129 constituency (Sialkot-IX), the PML-N has pitted Ch Mohsin Ashraf, the younger brother of outgoing MPA Ch Jamil Ashraf, against Ch Ansar Iqbal Baryar, a former PML-Q MPA.

In GUJRAT, all-out arrangements have been finalised for peace conduct of the by-election to NA-107. The though contest is expected between PML-N candidate Malik Hanif Awan and PML-Q-PPP candidate former MNA Rehman Naseer.

Elaborated security arrangements have adopted to meet any challenge by the police.

In GUJRANWALA, all set for testing battle between the PML-N and PPP candidates for by-elections to PP-92 on Tuesday (today).

The seat fell vacant on September 20,2012 when Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled against 11 national lawmakers, declaring them disqualified in the petition filed under article 184(3) of the Constitution.

PML-N MPA Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chohan due to his dual nationality become ineligible for working as MPA, so Provincial Assembly seat PP-92 fell vacant. Four candidates have submitted their nomination papers for this seat but the main battle is expected between two major rivals in the national politics i.e the PML-N and PPP.

The by-polls will prove to be the litmus test of the both parties. The PML-N has always proved its strong grip and popularity in Gujranwala in the past. The PML-N announced their ticket to elder brother of the disqualified MPA Muhammad Nawaz Chohan.

On the other hand PPP who claims to be the representative of the masses, especially in Punjab, has given ticket to Lala Asadullah Papa who is also the party city president.

PML-N central leader Hamza Shahbaz has visited Gujranwala many times during the by-election campaign and announced many projects for the city and urged the support of the party candidate.

While talking to this scribe Asadullah papa said "Visits of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif are a part of pre-poll rigging to influence the people in order to effect electoral results but we are ready to knock them out".

DCO Gujranwala Muhammad Amin Chauhdry said that the by-election will be held according to the rules and procedures of Election Commission of Pakistan."Free, fair and transparent poll will be conducted to ensure the rule of law". The CPO Gujranwala Abdurrazaq Cheema said, "the Police have taken strict measures for the peaceful conduct of by-poll. Rangers will also be deployed along with the police to maintain law and order.