PESHAWAR - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Nasir Musazai, Awami National Party’s Arbab Kamal and Ameer Muqam of Pakistan Muslim League-N are expected to fight tooth and nail for NA-29, which was part of the former NA-4 before fresh delimitation by Election Commission of Pakistan.

According to the ECP, total number of voters in the constituency is 3,20,581. The PTI and the PML-N are claiming to have the largest vote bank in the constituency. However; Mufti Naeem Jan of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Shafiq of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan are also expected to give tough time to the rival candidates. Pakistan People Party have fielded no candidates in the constituency due to poor vote bank of the party.

The constituency was part of the former NA-4 where the PTI had secured the largest number of votes in the last bye-elections, however; after fresh delimitation, the constituency was split into two, NA-28 and NA-29. The PTI and PML-N have completed several uplift projects in the constituency, as Shah Farman of the PTI represented the area in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

In 2013 general election, Gulzar Khan of the PTI had secured the highest number of votes in this area followed by Nasir Musazai of the PML-N.

Later, after the death of Gulzar Khan, the seat fall vacant and bye-election was held on the vacant seat which was won by Arbab Amir Ayub of the PTI followed by Khushdil Khan of the ANP. PML-N candidate Nasir Musazai remained at 3rd position with 24,790 votes.

However, this time around, the constituency’s votes have been mixed with other constituencies and it is difficult to guess exact position of any political party. The adjacent NA-28 is also a stronghold of the PTI while the ANP has also handsome vote bank here. In NA-29, the PTI and the PML-N will face each other after re-adjustment of the constituencies. 

Political pundits believe that like the previous elections, the PTI still has big support in the area where majority of the families have hoisted the PTI flags on their rooftops.  Amjad, a resident of NA-29, said while talking to The Nation that the PTI seemed to be the winner of the coming polls on NA-29 as the residents are satisfied with performance of their former MPA Shah Farman who ensured clean drinking water and solar system in several mosques of the area. He said that the PML-N and the ANP had same position in the area but this time votes of MMA candidate Mufti Naeem Jan could surpass the combined votes of ANP’s Arbab Kamal and PML-N’s Ameer Muqam.

A resident of NA-30 constituency Usman Khan told The Nation that most of the residents believed that giving votes to other parties would be equal to inviting the terrorists again as the provincial metropolis suffered badly during the last ANP-led coalition government in KP. He said that people were giving credit of improved law and order situation to both the PTI and the PML-N.