LAHORE Despite hectic election campaign and Federal governments support, the Pakistan Peoples Party(PPP) is facing the tough challenge of retaining its provincial seat from Bahawalnagar; while the chances of its grabbing Jhang seat from PML-N also seem to be bleak due to a number of factors. The PP-284 fell vacant due to disqualification of PPP legislator, Muhammad Rauf Khalid, and now it has fielded Khalids brother Muhammad Kashif, a first-timer. The real contest in this constituency would be between Shahid Anjum of PML (Zia) and Muhammad Kashif of the PPP. Anjum has to his credit not only the experience of contesting last election from this constituency, he is also enjoying the full backing of Arayan biradari this time around. The said clan is said to have greater vote bank in the area, which is evident from the fact that former Federal Minister Ejazul Haq had been mainly relying on its votes in the past. In the last election, Ejazul Haq of PML-Q was the runner up. He could not make it to the Provincial Assembly because Aarayns stood divided at that time. Shahid Anjum, then contesting on PPP ticket came at number three position in 2008. But this time around, the Aarayan bradari is united and supporting him. Abdullah Wains of PML-Q belongs to Jaat clan who doesnt have enough support to win the election single-handedly unless he seeks the help of some other influential group, which he lacks at the moment. Under this background, the electoral battle in PP-284 is mainly being fought between Muhammad Kashif of PPP and Shahid Anjum of the PML (Zia). The PML-N has not fielded any candidate from this constituency as the PPP and the PML-N are under agreement in respect of by-elections not to field their candidates against each other in constituencies where candidate of either party secured victory or came at number two position in the last election. It would be highly disgraceful for the PPP if it fails to retain this seat as Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Federal Minister Mumtaz Gilani and Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz have done extensive campaigning for their party candidate. It would be even more awful for the party if the defeat comes at the hands of a candidate belonging to PML (Zia), considered to be a tanga party. For the PPP, the situation in PP-82 (Jhang) is also no different from the one it is facing in Bahawalnagar, though the challenge to retain the seat in this constituency lies with the PML-N. Here, the PPP candidate, Ghazanfar Jabbowana is not having the crucial support of religious organisations, a vote bank, the analysts believe, would prove to be a decisive factor in the victory of any of the candidates. The seat fell vacant due to disqualification of Azam Chaila of the PML-N, who won the last election submitting a fake BA degree with the Election Commission of Pakistan. Chaila has an edge over his main opponent Jabbowana because of two reasons. Firstly, he is winner of 2008 election from this constituency, and secondly, he is enjoying the support of all religious parties, especially the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba. Another influential group in the area, led by Sheikh Yaqoob is also supporting the PML-N candidate, which would be an added advantage for him. Like in Bahawalnagar, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Senior Minister Raja Riaz and some federal ministers have been campaigning for their party candidate in Jhang also, but without any visible impact. Out of the three electoral contests on provincial seats in Punjab, this is the only constituency where the PPP and PML-N candidates are face to face. Unlike Jhang and Bahawalnagar, the PPP has nothing at stake in PP-111 (Gujrat), where the contest is likely between Mian Imran Masood of the PML-Q and Haji Nasir Mahmood of the PML-N, but it is also subject to a court decision. Imran Masood has filed a petition in the apex court that being a runner up in the last election, he be declared a successful candidate after disqualification of Haji Nasir Mahmood of PML-N, who is again a candidate from this constituency. The by-election in Gujrat would be held on March 24.