LAHORE - The National Assembly constituency of NA-126 (old) has the distinction of being the only constituency in Lahore which comprised mainly of the posh neighborhoods having all amenities of life.

It is also the only National Assembly constituency won by the PTI from Lahore in 2013 elections.

Nonetheless, there are a very few localities, not more than 10 per cent of the total area falling under NA-126, which do have problems like clean drinking water and sanitation.

It consisted of Gulberg, Model Town, Garden Town, Punjab University New Campus, Muslim Town, Johor Town, Liberty, Ferozepur Road, Kalma Chowk, Faisal Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Wahdat Colony and surrounding areas. A few less developed areas like Makka Colony, Naseerbabad and Nawaz Sharif Colony were also part of this constituency.

Shafqat Mehmood of the PTI had won this seat in 2013 general elections defeating Khawaja Ahmad Hassan of the PML-N by a narrow margin of around 7000 votes. He is the only PTI MNA from Lahore.

Mian Mehmoodur Rashid and Dr Murad Raas are MPAs from two provincial constituencies falling under the NA-126.

PPP’s Syed Zahid Bokhari obtained 2770 votes in the last elections. Nawab Dr Amber Shehzada of Aap Janab Sarkar Party was also a candidate from this constituency though he ended up securing eight votes only.

Liaqat Baloch of Jamat-e-Islami got 3226 votes only. Interestingly, he was the winner from this constituency in 2002 general elections, but he had the backing of PML-N at that time.  

JI candidates had then defeated Fakhar Zaman of the PPP by a wide margin of 30,000 votes. Tariq Bandey of the PML-Q and Shahid Siddique Khan of the PTI were only few hundred votes behind the runner-up. Baloch was not in the contest in the general elections held in 2008 as his party had boycotted the elections. Omer Sohail Zia Butt, a relative of Sharif Brothers had then defeated Syed Hasnat Shah of the PPP.

After the new delimitations necessitated as a result of the last census, NA-126 is not intact in its present shape. It only retains a few of its old localities like Allama Iqbal Town and parts of Model Town Tehsil.

The Model Town area, which formed major part of NA-126 in the previous arrangement, has now been split among six National Assembly constituencies including NA-130, NA-132, NA-133, NA-134, NA-135 and NA-126. Each of these constituencies comprise some parts of Model Town which is one of the oldest localities of Lahore.  

Most of the areas previously falling in NA-126 are now located in NA-130. These include: Gulberg, New Garden Town, Muslim Town, Faisal Town, parts of Allama Iqbal Town and Wahdat Colony. A few areas of Model Town Tehsil are also part of NA-130. Looking at the composition of this constituency, some might say that NA-126 is now NA-130.

In the new arrangement, Shafqat Mehmood of the PTI is most likely to contest election from NA-130 instead of NA-126. Other parties have not yet finalized their candidates for either of the two constituencies.

Talking to The Nation, Shafqat Mehmood said that he did not get any development scheme for his constituency in the last five years. He further stated that PTI did some work in the least developed areas utilizing the party funds.

Dr Murad Raas said that instead of spending development funds in the less developed areas in NA-126, the government had poured the money in the developed areas. He cited the example of some roads which were re-build in Muslim Town, Faisal Town and Garden Town areas. According to him, the people in these localities were facing drainage problems due to faulty planning of the existing roads. “Instead of removing the debris from the road, the contractor has put all the building material on the existing surface thereby raising the road level compared to the adjacent houses. The rain water now accumulates along the roads and enters the houses in certain cases,” he said.

Dr Raas said that PTI had installed over 50 water filtration plants in Makka Colony and Nawaz Sharif Colony from its own resources.