BAHAWALPUR - The biggest National Assembly constituency in Punjab, NA- 187 Bahawalpur V consists of 19 union councils of Tehsil Yazman and is famous for traditional politics of Jatt and Araeen families, having 276,087 voters (158,694 male and 117,393 female voters).

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz is divided into two groups in the constituency which will be harmful for PML-N. The constituency is backward in the field of education. Most of union councils in the constituency consist of rural areas. Politics in this constituency is different from the other areas and it revolves around only two dynasties - Jatt and Araeen. Tariq Basher Cheema leads the Jatt community while Saud Majeed heads the Araeen community.

The constituency is known as the area of Tariq Basheer who has been popular among the people for the last 25 years. Most of the politicians who have been elected from the constituency during the last two decades belonged to Cheema group. His support is necessary for a candidate to win an election.

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan won the election in 2002 with the support of Tariq Basheer. Later, Syed Tasnim Nawaz Gardezi won the same seat in the by-election but he faced defeat from his own constituency. Then he contested the election from the NA-186 seat. Tariq has been Punjab minister and district nazim of Bahawalpur twice. He is one of the founder members of the PPP and the best friend of late Mir Murtaza Bhutto.

Later, he defected the PPP and joined the PML-Q. He is very popular among the people of Bahawalpur district. He defeated Ameer of Bahawalpur Nawab Salahud Din Abbassi in the election of district nazim of Bahwalpur. His father has also been an MPA from the area.

However, Saud Majeed is an industrialist and affiliated with the PML-N. His father Abdul Majeed has been MPA and mayor of Bahawalpur. MPA Dr Muhammad Afzal, Iqbal Gulab, Khalid Mehmood, candidate of PML-N, Basharat Ali Randhawa, MPA Ehsanul Haq, Muhammad Iqbal and Abdul Jabbar, former tehsil nazim, are popular leaders of the area.

In 2002, PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan was elected as MNA from NA-187 by getting 73,660 votes and with a lead of 34,000 votes mainly due to the support of Tariq Basheer. He defeated Khalid Mehmmod of PML-N who got 37,775 votes while PML-Q candidate Azher Mehmood remained third by getting 17,912 votes. The turnover remained 50.50%.

PML-N’s Saud was elected as MNA in 2008’s Elections with a lead of more than 17,000 votes by defeating Pervaiz Elahi, the deputy prime minister. He got 77,860 votes while Pervaiz Elahi got 60,079 votes. Saud and Tariq are the major contestants in the upcoming elections from this constituency. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz is divided into two groups in the constituency which will be harmful for PML-N. Saud leads one group while other group is working under the leadership of Khalid Mehmood.

Falling under the NA constituency, PP-275 Bahawalpur IX consists of rural and urban areas of tehsil Yazman. The total number of registered voters is 1,146,758 out of them 83,504 are male while 63,254 are female voters. The turnover in this constituency remained 53.86% in the 2002 elections and 49.09% in 2008.

In 2002’s elections, PPP’s Shoaib Kareem was elected as MPA by getting 37,439 votes and defeated PML-N’s Iqbal Gulab who got 25,405 votes. Shoaib was supported by Tariq Basheer. The turnover in this constituency remained 53.86%.

In 2008 elections, Mumtaz Ahmed of PML-N defeated Mehboob Nasir of PML-Q by getting 40,736 votes. Ehsan won the by-election by defeating Khalid Mehmood. This seat was vacated due to the death of Mumtaz Ahmed, the father of Khalid Mehmood.

On the other side, PP-276 Bahawalpur X consists of rural and Cholistan areas. The total number of voters is 129,329 (75,190 male and 54,139 female voters). In 2002 elections, the turnover remained 47.16% and 44.07% in 2008 elections.

In 2002, PPP’s Dr Muhammad Afzal was elected as MPA by getting 35,989 votes and defeated PML-Q’s Rozia Jamil Akhter Sidhu who got 13,774 votes. Dr Afzal of PML-Q defeated PML-N’s Saud by 1,605 votes and got 30,645 votes in 2008 elections.