MULTAN
Although the election is over, the celebrations continue in Multan. The town presents a unique view of festivity and gloom as the supporters of the winners celebrate the triumph while the losers are submerged by sadness. The results have flung the analysis of many political analysts in their faces. The constituencies thought to be won by either PPPP or Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf are dominated by the PML-N while the strongholds of PML-N are in the control of PTI. The results indicate that the PML-N leadership already knew that the PTI could topple them in NA-149 and 150. Therefore, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif specially asked the public to vote for its candidates Sheikh Tariq Rasheed (NA-149) and Rana Mehmoodul Hassan (NA-150), but to no avail as both were rejected by the voters. The PTI bug, which infected most urban areas of the country, played key role in defeat of PML-N in both above mentioned constituencies as they are constituted by purely urban settlements of Multan.
The results show that out of six national assembly constituencies of Multan, at least four are won by the PML-N and two PTI. The PPPP is whitewashed.
NA-148 MULTAN-1: The election in NA-148 Multan-1 is won by the PML-N candidate Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, who defeated his major rivals Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of PTI, Ali Moosa Gillani PPPP and many other independents. The constituency used to be a stronghold of PPPP and Ali Moosa Gillani, the son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, was the last MNA from this constituency. It was thought that the real contest is between Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Ali Moosa Gillani. However, Abdul Ghaffar Dogar defeated the both with a big margin and won NA-148. The major factors that played key role in the defeat of Ali Moosa Gillani were a strong hatred wave against PPPP amongst the masses. “They told that the democracy is the best revenge and today we’ve taken the revenge through our ballot,” said a resident of NA-148 Azeem Khan while talking to this scribe. Similarly, PTI candidate Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s lack of focus on the constituency also played a major role in his defeat. Shah Mahmood contested election from four constituencies.
NA-149 MULTAN-11: The NA-149 Multan-11 is a purely urban constituency and traditionally a stronghold of PML-N. However, this fort is won by the PTI President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, who defeated JI secretary general Liaqat Baloch, former MNA and PML-N candidate Sheikh Tariq Rasheed and PPPP’s Malik Amir Dogar. Initially, it was thought that Makhdoom Javed Hashmi is out of game and the real contest will be between Sheikh Tariq Rasheed, Malik Amir Dogar and Liaqat Baloch. However, the PTI delivered incredible result and won election.
Both the PML-N and PPPP candidates had to face severe reaction from the people. Malik Amir Dogar faced public’s wrath because of his party’s wrongdoings while Sheikh Tariq Rasheed reaped what he sowed. Although Mian Nawaz Sharif had asked the people to forgive Tariq Rasheed, the enraged voters used their ballot to send him home. Similarly, family disputes played key role in his defeat. Even his elder brother and former MNA from the same constituency Sheikh Tahir Rasheed refused to support him.
As far as the JI is concerned, it possesses a sizeable vote in NA-149 but this vote is not sufficient to win the election. Had the JI made a seat adjustment with the PML-N, this seat would have been won by them.
NA-150 MULTAN-111: This constituency was won by Rana Mahmoodul Hassan on PML-N ticket at a time when the Nawaz League was even short of candidates in Multan in 2002 election. He won the election in 2008 again. The constituency has been a stronghold of PML-N since 1988. However, the PTI vice chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi broke the hegemony of PML-N and defeated its candidate in Election 2013, although he was a newcomer to the NA-150. The other candidates, who were in the run, included Nafees Ansari of PPPP Allama Yaqoob Rizvi of JUP-N and many others.
The analysis of the constituency shows that besides PTI bug, a whole lot of other issues played role in the toppling of Rana Mahmoodul Hassan. One of his MPAs, Ch Abdul Waheed Arrain, who has won again from PP-196, and many other local PML-N leaders and workers were annoyed with him. While running his campaign, the people made a frequent complaint to him that they saw his face for the first time after five years. Similarly, complaints like patronizing land grabbers, extortionists and outlaws also created hatred against him and he lost the seat.
NA-151 MULTAN-IV: The constituency was under the hold of PPPP since 2008 when former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani won election from here. However, PML-N candidate Malik Sikandar Hayat Bosan has defeated Syed Abdul Qadir Gillani of PPP in Election 2013. Gilanis flew very high after winning prime minister office. The residents of the area complained about their non-availability, ill-treatment at their residence and most of all horrible five year term of PPPP. The constituency is consisted of rural areas of Multan and majority of the residents are farmers, who faced the toughest time of their lives during PPPP era. Non-availability of irrigation water and electricity, high prices of petroleum and agricultural inputs and bad price of cotton yield last year were the major issues that irked the farming community. Similarly, Malik Sikandar Hayat Bosan enjoys considerable personal influence in the constituency and his joining PML-N proved a big shock for the opponents.
The other two constituencies NA-152 Multan V and NA-153 Multan-VI are located in Shujabad and Jalalpur Pirwala tehsils respectively. The NA-152 was won by the PPPP and NA-153 PML-Q in 2008 election. The NA-152 is won by Javed Ali Shah and NA-153 Dewan Ashiq Bokhari, both from PML-N.