The electioneering for the second phase of local bodies elections entered the final stage in Hafizabad district which comprising 46 union councils and four municipalities.
A total of 589,882 voters including 250,822 female voters will use their right of franchise at 515 polling stations including 128 male,128 female and 259 combined on November 19. The Election Commission has appointed l2 Returning Officers,519 Presiding Officer,1380 Assistant Presiding Officers,1380 Polling Officer and 127 Naib Quasid to ensure smooth flow of the polling process for the second of LB eelctions.
Although all the polling stations have been declared sensitive, l3l polling stations have been declared most sensitive on the demand of Returning Officers. The personnel of Pakistan Army and Rangers are being deployed at all these polling stations. According to official source, three Army Jawans and eight policemen would be deployed at each polling stations to ensuring free, fair and transparent elections as well as to maintain law and order situation under control. Moreover, five Quick Response Teams, consisting of 25 Army/Rangers personnel would patrol the district and take prompt action against the violators of law. Carrying of firearms, even licensed weapons have been strictly banned in the district.
Out of 46-uinion councils, election would be held in 43 union councils as three chairmen - one of PTI and two of PML-N - have been elected unopposed. There would be contest between 155 candidates belonging to PTI and PML-N. The PPP and JI have failed to field any candidate for the slot of union council chairmen.
In Hafizabad MC, there are 49 wards. Two of the candidates: an 80-year-old independent Muhammad Asghar Hanjra and Amjad Pervez Chattha of PML-N have already been elected unopposed, while contest would be held among 228 candidates which include 47 each of PML-N and PTI, three PPP and 131 independents, who are belonging to PML-N and were denied tickets by the party's local leadership. A social worker Samaira Ashraf Qazi is the only woman who is contesting for the slot of general Councillor in MC Hafizabad. According to political pundits, the independents would fetch at least 20 seats, 10 to 12 by PTI and the remaining would be captured by the PML-N.
In Jalalpur Bhattian, seven out of 11 candidates for general councillors seats have been elected unopposed and there would be a tough fight between 13 candidates for the slot of the remaining four seats.
In Sukeheke Mandi MC, there would be contest among 51 candidates in 15 wards. No one has been elected unopposed in this MC. It is interesting to note that two Christians - Samual Masih and Nazir Masih and a female Fazeelat are contesting for the slot of general councillor. Sunni Tehreek has nominated one candidate for the slot of general councillor from this MC.
In Pindi Bhattian, MC one candidate of PML-N has been elected unopposed while there will be a run among 74 candidates for 18 seats of general councillors.
Saira Afzal Tarar, State Minister for State and her father Afzal Hussain Tarar are campaigning for the PML-N candidates while his arch rival former MNA Ch Mehdi Hassan Bhatti and his son Ch Shoukat Ali Bhatti are campaigning for the PTI nominees. Both the arch rivals are claiming that they would make a clean sweep but in the presence of large number of independents it would not be possible for both of them to get majority in every union councils. In rural areas in particular, the biradari system would prevail.
Hafizabad city is humming with political activities as the contesting candidates have set up more than 250 offices where corner meetings are being held, Baryani, Jalaibis and sweets are being served to all the supporters. Lavish spending has been noticed at all the offices which are clear violation of the code of conduct. Their male and female supporters have started door to door canvassing to muster support ahead of the polling after two days on Thursday.