LAHORE – As in many other constituencies in the country, a neck and neck contest is expected in NA-109 Mandi Bahauddin among three titans of Gondal clan, representing the PML-N, PTI and PPP.

The three Gondals after getting confirmation of their candidature from the PML-N, PTI and PPP have started an aggressive electoral campaign for a face off on the day of polling on May 11.

Nazar Muhammad Gondal of Gojra is representing the PPP, while Nasir Iqbal Bosal belonging to Tiba Manik Bosal is the contestant of the PML-N and Nawaz Gondal hailing from Barmusa has taken the flag of the PTI.

Arif Gondal of the PML-Q is also in the race from this constituency but the local leaders predict that real competition is among the Gondals of Barmusa, Gojra and Tiba Manik Bosal.

The Gondals mainly inhabit the 33 Union Councils of NA-109, while the Ranjha clan tails them with small groups comprising settler clans constitute the voter formation of this constituency.  The constituency was won by the PPP candidates in 2002 and 2008 general elections. Major (r) Zulfikar Gondal succeeded from this constituency in 2002 polls, while his brother Nazar Muhammad Gondal secured NA-109 in 2008 polls and became a federal minister.

The local leaders said that issue of load shedding would affect the PPP candidate despite the fact that NA-109 was a rural constituency and voters usually vote for clan-association and other local groupings but the media had created the awareness among the masses.

They said that the PPP secured NA-109 in 2002 because the PML-Q had fielded a less potential candidate, while in 2008 the PPP grabbed this seat due to the sympathy vote emerged after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

According to them, the Gondals of Gojra representing the PPP had lost support in many of their winning pockets and the local groups aligned with them in the 2008 polls are most likely to support the PTI and PML-N.

Nawaz Gondal belonging to Barmusa and representing the PTI is one of the veteran politicians of Mandi Bahuddin district who took part in the Movement of Restoration of Democracy (MRD) and contested 1988 polls for Punjab Assembly on a PPP ticket, however lost the polls with a small margin.

He was a member of the Pakistan Democratic Party (PDP) led by late Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan.

Nawaz Gondal once again became the part of the electoral politics by getting the PTI ticket from NA-109.

Nasir Iqbal Bosal belonging to Tiba Manik Bosal and leading the PML-N in this constituency had lost to Nazar Muhammad Gondal in 2008 polls with a margin of 6,674 votes and could win this time, if gets the vote of swing voters.

Local leaders claim that Nawaz Gondal of the PTI enjoys the support of some of the groups previously aligned with Nazar Muhammad Gondal and could grab the NA-109, if he makes a smart game plan focusing on his supporters as well as swing voters.