LAHORE - The financial burden of a prolonged election campaign has added to the worries of the candidates who are finding it hard to spend more amid the growing uncertainty about the whole exercise, The Nation has learnt.

Majority of aspirants have already exhausted resources and are finding it hard to continue their campaign in a situation where it is not clear if the polls will be held as per schedule.

The present situation has almost taken educated middle class out of the election race. As such rich and affluent people, whether having backing of a political party or not, would continue electioneering and grab lucrative offices of local governments.

Though major political parties have already finalised their candidates in majority of the constituencies in the province, the changed scenario could force them to look for better people that would cause switching of loyalties. Both the leading political forces in the province, PML-N and PTI, have already assessed the potential of their candidates during the ongoing electioneering that would require them to go for more suitable contenders in the wake of the changed scenario. The parties, now, could also revise strategy concerning alliance at local level.

As per political analysts, the ruling PML-N is the biggest beneficiary of delay in elections as it not only has assessment of potential candidates but also has better realisation of local situation after months-long electioneering.

“It is difficult for a person like me to continue spending more money as I have exhausted the entire resources allocated for election campaign. After reaching the maximum limit, I have no money to spend on the election campaign. It is difficult to compete those who have unlimited resources,” said Raja Munawar who is contesting for chairman in Union Council 201, Muslim Town, as an independent candidate. He has been twice elected from the same constituency as a councillor and, later, as UC nazim. After becoming the UC nazim, he served as chairman, Finance and Public Accounts Committee, in District Council Lahore.

Raja Munawar said educated middle class that has great love for the country and wants to serve the masses has been deprived of its due rights. “It seems the people at the helm of affairs have created uncertainty to keep educated middle class out of the election race. There is a need to end uncertainty and finalise the schedule for LG elections. If the situation clears, people having passion to serve the masses could come and restart the campaign. Early ending of uncertainty is in the interest of public at large,” Raja Munawar said.