HAFIZABAD-The Tehrke Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) though not in a winning position will surely affect the vote bank of both the two mainstream parties – PML-N and PTI – and play its role in the victory or defeat of either party.

The TLP gained popularity on the issue of Khatam-i-Nubuwwat and its candidate was playing the card during his electioneering which would cause a loss to the PML-N.

Its candidate Ch Liaqat Abbas Bhatti is younger brother of Ch Mehdi Hassan Bhatti, the district PTI leader who parted ways with the PTI and his brother over the issue of ticket to Mehdi’s son Ch Shoukat Ali Bhatti. Due to the very fact, the votes of Bhatti brothers have been divided which would surely benefit PML-N candidate.

Following the delimitation of assemblies, Hafizabad has been deprived of one NA constituency having a population of 1.157 million according to last year census.

The population of the district in 1998 was only 832,980 and there were two NA seats (NA-102, 103) but now the population of the district has been increased with registered voters of 6,84,447 but one of the two seats of NA has been abolished which has disappointed the masses in general and potential candidates in particular. Due to this very fact as many as 15 candidates of different political and religious and independents have filed their nomination papers to contest the slot of NA-87 (biggest constituency in the Punjab and second biggest constituency in the country).

They are: former Federal Minister Heath Services Saira Afzal Tarar (PML-N), Allah Rakhi of PPP, Ch. Shoukat Ali Bhatti of PTI, former Federal Minister Ch. Liaqat Abbas Bhatti of TehrikLabbaikYa-Rasoolullah, FehmidaKousar of MMA, MianFazal Ahmad Qadri of All Pakistan Muslim League, Malik Muhammad Asam of Allah-Ho-Akbar Tehrik and independent candidate AfrasyabMohal, Babar MaqboolQazi, Ch. Muhammad Asadullah, Sadia Liaqat Abbas, Qamar Abbas, Mubashar Abbas Bhatti, Muhammad Rafique and Muhammad Naeem.

But there would be tough and interesting contest between the candidates of PML-N, PTI and Tehrike Labbaik Pakistan. The PPP candidate Allah Rakhi, though a die-hard PPP worker, has no popularity among the masses.

In fact, she was covering candidate of former MPA Malik Wazir Ahmad Awan but as his nomination papers were rejected due to his dual nationality, the PPP awarded ticket to Allah Rakhi. Similarly, Fehmida Kousar of MMA and Malik Muhammad Aslam of Allah-o-Akbar have no footing among the masses. Mian Fazal Ahmad Qadri of All Pakistan Muslim League is a new comer and having no political background and he would only spoil few votes of PML-N.

There are scores of clans in the district, such as Arain, Jat, Tarar, Bhatti, Kharl, Sheikh, Rajpoot, Rehmani, Awan, Mallah, Chatha, Cheema, Hanjra, Ghaffari etc. but most of them were divided due to their affiliation with arch rivals Ch Mehdi Hassan Bhatti and Mian Afzal Hussain Tarar. Most of the Anjuman and biradaris of Hafizabad city have assured their support to the PML-N candidate, as they believe that Saira Afzal Tararhad evinced keen interest in the betterment and development of the district as well as ensuring better healthcare and promotion of education. The citizens were of the view that since the formation of PML-N she and his father never changed their loyalty and also promoted politics of respect and dignity.

However, Bhatti brothers took part in elections during General Zia era, on PPP ticket, PML-N platform, PML-Q platform and now PTI which has been disapproved by the people. Moreover, after the verdict of the Accountability Court electorates are seen showing more sympathies with the PML-N candidate.

According to survey conducted by the scribe PML-N candidate has edge over all the candidates but religious parties, which are fanning the issue of finality would only cause defeat of PML-N candidate.

Meanwhile, the PTI, TLP and PML-N candidate have geared up electioneering and visiting every village and claimed the support of majority of voters in this biggest constituency.

In a nutshell, the NA-87 has become much more complicated and unpredictable and only that party would be victorious which succeeded in ensuring maximum turnout at the 593 polling stations set up for the constituency.

Meanwhile, the district returning officer has appointed 593 Presiding Officers, 2882 Assistant Presiding Officers and 1441 Polling Officers and they were imparted necessary training. Moreover, 531 out of 593 polling stations have been declared sensitive including 89 most sensitive. CCTV cameras were also being installed in all the 1444 polling booths.