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.