KARACHI - Pakistan People’s Party has once again proved its mettle in its bastion, Sindh, by clinching two national and one provincial assembly seats in the by-elections.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

What was more astonishing is that for the first time, the PPP has made inroad in Sanghar, the stronghold of PML-F by clinching NA-235.

In a nail-biting contest, Shazia Marri of PPP emerged victorious by defeating the PML-F candidate Khuda Bakhsh Dars with a good margin of votes.

In May 11 general elections, Shazia Marri had also put up a hot contest to Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi, younger brother of Pir Pagaro. However, the seat fell vacant when Pir Sadaruddin opted to retain his Khairpur seat.

Historically, Sanghar is considered a stronghold of PML-F and the party candidates had won comfortably against previous PPP contestants by large margins. In 2002 general elections Abdul Qadoos Rajar of PML-F easily won this seat while in 2008 Ghulam Dastigir Rajar bagged this seat with big margin.

Observers said the PML-F leadership should have read the writings on the wall when the people of Khipro shut their town when Pir Pagaro announced Khuda Bakhsh Dars as his nominee. The local population was unsatisfied with Mr Dars’ performance as Taluka Nazim of Khipro in the past.  

The elected representatives of PML-F have miserably failed to deliver. The civic infrastructure in Sanghar district is in dilapidated condition and the road network is in a shambles after it received a severe battering in the 2011 floods.

Similarly, the PPP retained NA-237 of Thatta, where the party had fluctuating fortunes in the past. PPP’s Shamsunnisa Memon, an elderly apolitical woman, offered a hot contest to Riaz Hussain Shah Shirazi of PML-N candidate.

The PPP candidate Abid Hussain Bhayyo clinched PS-12 Shikarpur defeating PML-N Amir Hussain Jatoi with a sizeable margin of votes. In Karachi the MQM has repeated its past performance and retained one national and two provincial assembly seats with majority votes.

In NA-254, Muhammad Ali Rashid of the MQM defeated Muhammad Naeem of the PTI with thumping votes. In PS-103, an MQM stronghold that fell vacant after the murder of its MPA Sajid Qureshi, Rauf Siddiqui swept the by-polls against PTI’s Sultan Ahmed. Muhammad Hussain Khan of MQM bagged PS-95 by obtaining 47,274 votes against 1,254 of PPP’s Jamil Zia.