ISLAMABAD - As the election process for 49-seat AJK Legislative Assembly is slow taking off, an intense electoral battle is expected among three main players the incumbent PPP, PML-N and PTI.

Although electoral rolls are in process of computerisation and will be ready by next month, these parties are gearing up to try their luck in the elections scheduled for July. Interestingly, the PML-N, the main opposition party in the Assembly, is set to drive maximum advantage form its lone government.

It has already constituted 18-member parliamentary board to choose their electable candidates while the PPP and PTI have yet to form their parliamentary boards.

The PPP claims it will go into election on the basis of its performance while PTI will take part for the first time in the general elections whole heartedly to take advantage. Its AJK President and former Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood has expressed the hope that his party would do wonders this time around.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has plans to reach out to the voters in all nook and corner to convince voters to choose his party for their betterment. On the other hand, PML-N is working day and night not to leave any space to its rivals particularly the PTI which its leaders believed would just outmatch politically all the rivals once it availed any opportunity to form its government.

Sources in PTI and PPP say that PML-N would eventually not perform well because of internal rift in the ranks of the party. “We are waiting how the PML-N decides about its candidates”, a senior PPP leader told The Nation hoping that his party would perform much better this time because of its service to the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and because of the development work it had done during its stint.

He said that PPP is carefully watching the PML-N in awarding tickets to its candidates. The PPP sources say that role of former AJK prime Minister Sardar Attqiue Ahmed will be the deciding factor.

According to these sources, Sardar Attique could eventually turn out as spoiler for the PML-N as efforts are still underway to woo his support. But senior AJK leaders from the PML-N are opposed to his return to party fold again as he had himself left the party few years ago. But he is again trying to rejoin the PML-N with quite little chance because of opposition from his former party colleagues including Sardar Skindar Hayat Khan.

“Our leadership will act accordingly”, he added. On its part, the PML-N leadership seem quite confident to win the election.

“Since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is personally involved in choosing party candidates, our party stand brightest chance to win the elections,” a senior PML-N leader, who is also member of the parliamentary board, said.

According to his assessment, PPP stands little chance this time to win the elections, and PML-N does not want to take chance to leave political space to the PTI. The sources in the PTI said that PTI and Jamat-e-Islami are in talks to field joint candidates, but the final decision would be taken by the PTI Central Executive Committee (CEC). As the electoral process is taking off slow because of the time factor, party positions would be much clear after the completion of electoral rolls.