RAWALPINDI After a noisy show of strength and much fan fare by almost all political rivals, the by-election in NA-55 is being held today (Wednesday) amidst tight security. There will be a public holiday today while all the educational institutions and government as well as semi-government offices will remain closed. In the constituency, where 3,34,269 registered voters (150,762 women and 183,507 men) are going to elect their new MNA, the polling will start at 8am while remain continue till 5pm. For this purpose, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set up 250 polling stations (133 for males and 117 for females) while 49 of them were termed sensitive by law enforcers. Over 5,000 police personnel, under the supervision of SSP Operations Yasin Farooq, have been deployed in the city to ensure foolproof security for the candidates and voters during polling in NA-55. FC and Rangers personnel will also patrol the city. In this connection, police and Rangers on Tuesday also held a joint Flag March to ensure peace and tranquility in the constituency. The march which started from Fawara Chowk culminated at Police Lines while passing through different areas of the city. The ECP officials on Tuesday finalized all the preparations and brought ballot boxes and ballot papers to the polling stations concerned. The contestants also visited polling stations and reviewed the arrangements made by ECP officials. Despite the ending of electioneering at Monday midnight, the candidates made their last efforts by visiting door-to-door to convince masses to vote for them today. They also acquired vehicles on rent to provide free of cost transport facilities to the voters of the constituency. The main areas of the constituency are Satellite Town, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, New Katarian, Pirwadhai, Waris Khan, Banni, Raja Bazaar, Barra Bazaar, Gawalmandi, Arya Mohala, Dhoke Ratta, Railway Colony, Saddar, Chamanzar and Chitti Hattian. Though a total of 22 candidates including Jammat-e-Islami (JI) Dr Muhammad Kamal and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) are in the election run yet the final showdown will be held between two arch rivals Malik Shakil Awan of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. As many as 22 candidates are in the run for NA-55 bye-elections to be held today (Wednesday) and all eyes are focused on the contest between PML-N candidate Malik Shakil Awan and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of Awami Muslim League. Both candidates claiming of their victories but the contest seems to be tough and close and the position is not yet clear. The number of total registered voters stands at 334,269 in the constituency. According to the District Election Commission Office, the NA-55 constituency includes Saddar, Arya Mohallah, Chamanzar Colony, College Road, Mohanpura, Ratta Amral, Hazara Colony, Fauji Colony, Pirwadhai, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Najju, Dhoke Mangtal, Railway Colony, Satellite Town E and F Blocks, Kartarpura, Ferozpura, Waris Khan, Chittian Hattian, Banni, Imam Bara Mohallah, Akalgarh, Bagh Sardaran, Bangash Colony, Dhoke Allah Ditta and Ziaul Haq Colony. The district returning officer has set up a total of 250 polling stations with 597 polling booths. The polling would start at 8 a.m. and continue till 5 p.m. on Wednesday. According to political experts, the PPP is divided in two to three groups at the local level. The main group, belonging to the present government, would back Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in the polls. However, according to views gathered from traders and transporters, the chances of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Malik Shakil Awan are 50-50 despite the fact that the latter holds an edge over the former because of the PML-N. Meanwhile, people faced difficulties in reaching their destinations due to closure of all main roads, particularly Benazir Bhutto Road, as candidates held public rallies and election meetings during final round of bye-election campaigning here on Monday, the last day of the election campaign.