PTI candidate stands a chance against rival

Both the leaders are pulling a greater crowd and have plans to address more rallies in the days to come.

A highly organised, modern electioneering is underway in the four constituencies. The candidates have constituted teams of volunteers who are going door to door to conduct surveys to check the voters’ mood and their political inclinations. The voters are also receiving messages from candidates on their cell phones. A parallel election campaign is also being run on social media by the two parties.

The Punjab Assembly constituency, PP-170, is being considered the most hotly contested seat of all the four constituencies in Lahore.In PP170, 114,652 registered voters will take part in by-polls, out of which 60,594 are male while 54,058 are female.

After being de-seated for switching loyalties to the PML-N, Mohammad Amin Zulqernain of the PTI is now contesting on the PML-N ticket. The PML-N leadership has ignored its candidate Imran Javid who was the runner up in the 2018 elections. He then got 20,765 votes as against 25215 of Zulqernain. Mohammad Asif of PPP polled 3366 votes in the 2018 election from PP-170. The PTI has now pitched Zaheer Abbas Khokar against the PML-N candidate. Jamil Ahmad of TLP and Waqas Ahmad Butt of Jamat-e-Islami are also in the run, but it is going to be a two-way contest between the PTI and the PML-N candidates.

Amin Zulqernain commonly known as Amin Ch, is the brother of Aun Chaudhry once a confidant of PTI chairman Imran Khan. Also having close association with the estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, Aun is now special assistant to the prime minister.

ZaheerKhokar was elected MNA in 2002 on the PPP ticket but later joined the Musharraf-led PPP-Patriots to become part of the Jamali government.

Zaheer Abbas is a nephew of PTI’s sitting MNA KaramatKhokar. Zaheer is a law graduate but presently he is into property business. He lost to Rana Mubashir of the PML-N in the 2018 general election.

In the 2013 general elections, PP-170 was a constituency in Nankana Sahib. This constituency has voters in Wapda Town, Valencia, UET Housing Society, NESPAK Society, PCSIR-2, Punjab Govt Housing Scheme, Punjab Housing Society, SattoKatla and Bagrian. Majority of the voters in this constituency are employed in government and the private sectors. While most of them belong to the middle class, some do white collar jobs in different sectors.  Around one-fourth of the voters earn their living through agriculture.

The PTI candidate has an edge over his rival for three reasons. This constituency is considered a stronghold of the PTI which has already won this seat in the 2018 elections. Majority of voters in this constituency belong to an educated class who have their loyalties with the PTI. Certain pockets like SattoKatla are dominated by the Khokar clan who are most likely to vote for ZaheerKhokar.

The most PTI voters   have great resentment against Amin Ch for siding with the PML-N.

The PML-N candidate, on the other hand, represents a sitting government. Traditionally, the PML-N has lost a few by-elections in the recent past despite being in the opposition. Maryam Nawaz is also campaigning for the party candidates. She is scheduled to address a public rally in PP-170 on Monday. These are the only plus points for Amin, but, with better polling day management and active polling agents, he stands a chance to make an upset.

 

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