Tough contest expected between PTI, PML-N

335,295 registered voters will take part in by-polls n 266 polling stations have been set up with 787 polling booths

 RAWALPINDI   –  The campaign for by-elec­tion in PP-7 (Rawalpindi II) has gained a new mo­mentum after Lahore High Court ordered recount of votes for Punjab CM ex­cluding the 25 PTI dissent legislators.

As many as six candidates of different political par­ties including two indepen­dents will contest the by-poll in PP-7, one of the 20 turncoats’ constituencies in the Punjab as the Elec­tion Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) has announced July 17, 2022 for the voting.

The candidates, who are in the ring to clinch the victory, are Raja Sagheer Ahmed (PML-N) ,Col (retd) Shabbir Awan (PTI) , Hafiz Mansoor (Tehreek-e-La­baik Pakistan) , Raja Tan­veer of Jammat-e-Islami , Engineer Raja Nazakat Hussain (independent can­didate) and Col (retd) Wasim, also an indepen­dent candidate .

The seat of PP-7 (Rawal­pindi-II) is a rural con­stituency, comprising Ka­huta I, Kahuta II and Kallar Syedan. Kahuta I and II are comprised of 13 union councils i.e., Mowara, Narh, Punjar, Khadiot, Doberan Khurd, Mowara, Beor, Ma­tore, Nara, Dakhail, Hothla, Khalol and Lehari while MC Kallar Syedan has 11 union councils including Nala Musalmana, Manyanda, Sa­mote, Choha Khalsa, Kano­ha, Doberan Kallan, Bhal­akhar, Gufl, Ghazab Abad, Darkali Mamuti and Sok­te. A total of 3,35,295 reg­istered voters will take part in the by-elections in PP-7 to choose their represen­tative again. A total of 266 polling stations have been set up with 787 polling booths. A total of 23 polling stations have been declared sensitive to guard and po­lice and other law enforce­ment agencies will be de­ployed to maintain law and order on polling day.

Though there are six can­didates in the political bat­tle field yet the political pundits and observers are expecting a tough contest between two arch rivals PTI and PML-N in the by-poll in PP-7 (Rawalpindi-II).

Pakistan Muslim League (PML) Nawaz has issued ticket to Raja Sagheer Ahmed, who earlier won the general elections in 2018 by bagging 44,363 votes as an independent candidate from the same constituency and later on joined PTI.

Meanwhile, Col (retd) Wasim, who is contest­ing the by-poll in PP-7 as an independent candidate, can damage the vote bank of the both contestants of PTI and PML-N due to political tussle between two big wheels of Nawaz league-former premier Sha­hid Khaqan Abbasi and Raja Zafar ul Haq, according to background interviews with political observers. In the constituency, TLP has award­ed ticket to Hafiz Mansoor while JI fielded Raja Tanvir as its candidate. Both candi­dates are not in a strong posi­tion to give their opponents a tough time or in winning po­sitions, but they both could damage the vote bank in the area. “Hafiz Mansoor of TLP came into limelight due to his active role in Dharna of TLP in Islamabad,” said a senior leader of TLP while talking to The Nation. A survey, con­ducted by The Nation in sev­eral union councils of PP-7 on Saturday, also revealed that the skyrocketing pric­es of daily use items and con­tinuous surge in petroleum prices have grown public anger against ruling PML-N and PPP. However, PPP stal­wart and National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is playing an active role to win sympathies of voters by announcing/doing a series of development projects includ­ing carpeting of roads, pro­vision of gas, electricity and water connections, establish­ing campus of Punjab Uni­versity in Gujar Khan. In Ka­huta, scores of supporters of Raja Zafar Ul Haq, while tak­ing to The Nation, were also confident to get their candi­date Col (retd) Wasim a tu­multuous victory in the by-poll. They said Raja Sagheer Ahmed is a turncoat with no public support while the real contest is expected between Col (retd) Wasim and Col (retd) Shabbir Awan on July 17, 2022.

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