NOWSHERA VIRKAN

Rashid Ashraf

Sleepless nights and restless days are being spent by the candidates as they are carrying out their respective political campaigns in a bid to muster maximum public support regarding elections in the National Assembly constituency NA-100.

However, the main contest in NA-100 is expected between PML-N candidate Azhar Qayyum Nahra and Bilal Ejaz, an independent candidate, out of the eight candidates here. Other candidates included Ch Abid Javed Virk (PTI), Sardar Riaz Ahmed from Jamaat-e-Islami, Tasadduq Masood Khan (PPPP), Muhammad Nasir Thakar (All Pakistan Muslim League) and Muhammad Arshad Fouji (MQM).

It is seen that the PPP and the PTI are not in a position to win the seat. Former town nazim Azhar Qayyum Nahra is the younger brother of former MNA Haji Mudassar Qayyum Nahra, the chieftain of Nahra Group. He is famous because of his close relations with the people and his key role in the politics of the city.

He started his political journey in 2002 and won the seat of PP-102 in the elections. He served the people and won their trust during his tenure. In 2008 polls, he contested from National Assembly NA-100 constituency and defeated Ch Bilal Ejaz but in 2010, he was disqualified in a fake degree case. Azhar Qayyum was nominated for contest in the by-polls but Pakistan People’s Party candidate Tassadq Masood Khan won the seat in 2010.

On the other side, Bilal Ejaz is also a strong candidate. He is son of (late) Ejaz Ahmed who was elected MNA three times from this constituency. After his death, Bilal Ejaz contested 2002 general polls and defeated Ch Hamid Nasir Chattha with a margin of 25,000 votes.

As the PML-N ticket was awarded to Azhar Qayyum Nahra, Bilal Ejaz announced to contest as independent candidate from Ittehad group. Azhar having the edge of PML-N umbrella, is winning the support of different tribes like Jatt, Gujjar, Manj, Araeen, Saith, cobblers, Ansari, Mughal while the Christian community has also announced to support the PML-N in the area.

On the other side, the voters are pondering whether who should be given votes and tribes are also divided in this matter. The PPP is facing troubles because of its bad governance across the country. The PPP-led is termed the most corrupt government of the history. Because of the poor performance during the last tenure, the PPP candidate in the constituency is also facing the people’s anger.

PTI candidate Ch Abid Javed Virk, younger brother of former MPA Ch Khalid Pervaiz Virk, is in a strong position but he is not in a winning status. Jamaat-e-Islami has a large number of ideological votes that never supported any other party. It is expected that the number of JI voters will increase as the people are fed up with two parties which ruled in the last five years and did “nothing” for the betterment of Pakistan and the people.