LAHORE - The PML-N is focusing on the PTI as its key rival in the upcoming local government elections in the city.

As to the PPP, the PML-N is not worried much as this party at present quite low profile that finding of suitable candidates has become a hard task for its leadership.

The PML-N is rating the JI after PTI which can put up a contest in the UCs falling in the central areas particularly Icchra, Wahdat Colony, Muslim Town and Mansoora.

The independents fall next in line wherein some potential candidates can give it a tough time. The rest are not worry for the PML-N which is hopeful of sweeping the polls in all UCs which belong to the National and Provincial Assemblies constituencies already won by its members.

The PTI has a considerable following in the city but the PML-N is measuring its worth on the yardstick of last cantonment board elections wherein the PTI was badly routed. However, given the last by-election in a core constituency of the city and tough time the rival PTI gave, the PML-N is not willing to show sloth and is inclined to remain on the guards.

Excluding few the PTI has fielded its candidates in all 274 UCs. The PML-N has got three of its UC chairmen and Vice Chairman elected unopposed in the city and in the rest 271, it is poised for contest.

Both the parties are facing the same situation as in many UCs their party disgruntled are independently in the field in addition to party ticket holders. This can divide their respective votes which they want to check through negotiation a reconciliation with their estranged members so that majority of votes average around 20000 in a UC, remain to its side.

The election experts in this situation say that party in rule gets better of the other in this situation for its has much to offer the estranged persons than the others can do.

There is also apprehension about the party men switching their loyalties to other which exists both in the PTI and the PML-N. The PML-N has appointed coordinators in every National Assembly constituency to keep a vigil on such persons and also bring the estranged voters back to the folds by addressing their grievances.

Besides this measure, the party is also boosting its strength against the rivals by getting support of clan and groups in addition to reaching out to traders and workers communities.

The party sources say Hamza Shahbaz Sharif who is performing the focal person in the LB polls in Punjab has passed instructions to the coordinators to ensure contacts and that the party votes do not divide.

PML-N City President Pervez Malik said the party policies and efforts to address the serious problems like terrorism, energy crisis and price hike are being appreciated and paying off at the public level which is evident from the recent victory of Ayaz Sadiq in city election.

He said the youth are particularly backing the PML-N for the schemes initiated to facilitate them in education and provide them respectable livelihood. He said the development projects in the city and the transport, health and other facilities to the citizens speak volumes of the rising popularity graph of the party.