ISLAMABAD - Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Chairman Awami Muslim League (AML) has finally succeeded to get sympathies of common people and an overt support of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the upcoming by-election in NA-55 Rawalpindi. Almost all the city office-bearers of PPP and 'jialas are actively taking part in the election campaign of Sh Rashid Ahmad against the PML-N candidate Malik Shakeel Awan, who is considered a loyal worker of his party. Being a seasoned politician and one of the close friends of twice former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Sheikh Rashid remained undefeated from this constituency. His speeches against PPP and its slain leader Benazir Bhutto were also one of the main secrets behind his public popularity. Thus the opponents accused him as a man working for secret agencies. Friendship with former dictator Pervez Musharraf put the politics of Sh Rashid in jeopardy, as he could not succeed to secure his National Assembly seats from NA-55 and 56 in the last general election. But PML-N candidates intentionally or unconsciously ignored the Pindiites after gaining record victory. In the absence of Sh Rashid, they could not succeed to full the vacuum. After two years, Sh Rashid is again in a better position to win by-election, as huge public response during his ongoing election campaign has made the situation hectic for PML-N especially after a deadly attack on AML chief. After losing NA-21 seat from Mansehra, PML-N central leadership including Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar, Central Information Secretary, Ehsan Iqbal, Khwaja Saad Rafiq, central leader of PML-N and a large number of MNAs and MPAs of PML-N are actively busy in the election campaign of Malik Shakeel Awan. In its public rallies and meetings, PML-N leadership provoking the voters against Sh Rashid for his controversial role during 'Lal Masjid operation launched by a former military dictator and then president Pervez Musharraf. But this time this slogan has become much irrelevant, as almost all the religious groups announced their full support for Sheikh except JI. One of the close aides of Sh Rashid told that PTI candidate Ijaz Khan Jazi and JI candidate Dr Muhammad Kamal would divide the PML-N votes that would be another breakthrough in the victory of Sh Rashid Ahmed in this by-election.