LAHORE – The PML-N’s victory in by-polls has indicated that the three-party (PML-N, PPP and PTI) contest was unlikely in the general election.

However, the PML-Q that retained Punjab Assembly seat in Narowal and gave tough fight in Sialkot and Sahiwal with the PML-N winning candidates can become a potential rival for the PML-N in central Punjab.

The PPP lost its support in the province, though its leadership fielded Mnzoor Wattoo as its central Punjab head. The by-poll results also indicated that the PML-Q may not make seat adjustments with the PPP in some central Punjab constituencies as its local leaders oppose the alliance. However, the PML-Q is expected to forge local electoral arrangements, besides mustering up support for religious parties against the PML-N.

The PML-Q had already struck an electoral deal with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC). PTI-supported Rai Hassan Nawaz defeat in Sahiwal, shows that the Imran Khan’s party needed to step up its effort for reaching out to such areas.

According to unofficial results, the PML-N grabbed two seats of National Assembly and four of the Punjab Assembly while the independent candidate who secured the Jhelum seat is practically also falls under the strength of the PML-N.

In NA-107, Gujrat, PML-N’s Malik Hanif Awan defeated Rehman Naseer, the joint candidate of PML-Q-PPP by a good margin. The local leaders claimed that the PPP voter didn’t turn up to vote for the PML-Q contender. The seat was vacated by PML-N Malik Jamil Awan over the issue of dual nationality. In NA-162, Sahiwal, Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal of PML-N defeated the PPP-PML-Q joint candidate Ali Fareed Kathiya. Runner up Rai Hassan Nawaz was an independent but enjoyed the PTI backing.

Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal had secured this seat on the PPP ticket in 2008 but after his disqualification on dual nationality issue, Zahid changed political sides after surrendering his foreign nationality and reemerged as a PML-N contender.

The joint PPP-PML-Q candidate from PP-92, Gujranwala was Lala Asad who was defeated by PML-N’s Nawaz Chohan. Ashraf Chohan of PML-N was disqualified from this constituency for holding dual nationality.

In PP-122, Sialkot, PPP-PML-Q jointly fielded Amir Raja to face PML-N’s contender, and was defeated by PML-N’s Chaudhry Ikram by a huge margin. The PML-Q and the PPP jointly fielded Asif Chaudhry from PP-26, Jhelum to face two independent candidates Raja Muhammad Afzal and Chaudhry Khadim Hussain informally backed by two local groups of PML-N.

The PML-N left PP-26 opened, as the PML-N provincial leadership wanted to award ticket to Chaudhry Khadim Hussain who is the father of Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim, disqualified on dual nationality issue.

Chaudhry Khadim Hussain defeated Raja Afzal both contested as an independent.

The seat was vacated by the PML-N’s Nadeem Khadim again on dual nationality.

Chaudhry Ansar Iqbal Baryar, the PML-Q-PPP joint candidate had lost the by-polls after a tough fight with Chaudhary Mohsin Ashraf of PML-N in PP-129, Sialkot.

In PP-133, Narowal, the PML-Q’s Umar Sharif defeated PML-N’s Dr Naimat Javed father of Dr Tahir Ali Javed leader of the PML-Q Forward Bloc who vacated the seat on dual nationality.

Nasim Iqbal as PML-Q-PPP joint candidate after a tough battle lost to PML-N’s Muhammad Hanif in PP-226, Sahiwal.  The common factor according to the feeds of local leaders of PML-Q that they contested the by-polls with their own groupings and PPP support was remained a dream during the polling.