Once a close trusted friend, an admirer and a vocal defendant of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, Sh Rashid is today his worst enemy and harsh critic. There is no end to his tirade against PML-N leadership. On Monday (last day of by-election campaign in NA-55), one could see and hear a fiery Rashid in Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, using all cards at his disposal (including Pindi and even Shaheed Benazir card) one by one to woo the voters sympathy. Today voters in Rawalpindis NA-55 constituency are out to decide his fate, which is already hanging in balance, as for him it is now a 'do or die situation. For all his shortcomings and accusations levelled against him, for instance, those of changing loyalties and accumulating heaps of wealth, Sh Rashid must be credited for retaining his image as a common mans candidate. He has become a household name in dark narrow streets as well as the posh areas of the city. For that he deserves kudos. His outspokenness, use of slang, an unassuming air and all such factors have contributed to his image of common mans Sheikh Rashid. One can recall Sh Rashid as student leader delivering electrifying speeches back in late 1970s; his election to National Assembly in 1985 and later until 2008; winning Mian Nawazs trust as vocal critic of Benazir Bhutto; his arrest in Rawalpindi and detention in Bahawalpur; Nawaz Sharifs sojourns to Bahawalpur; his release and return to Rawalpindi; enjoying a permanent place in Nawaz cabinetall that looks like the first half of a thriller. The storys second half is somewhat different but not without thrill. After Oct 1999 coup by Gen Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif goes into exile and PML-Ns turncoats form their own party first as Like-minded and later as PML-Quaid (PML-Q) and Sh Rashid joins PML-Q ditching his leader and betraying his voters. In the government under Musharrafs umbrella, he is offered the important slots of Information and Railway Ministries. To please Gen Musharraf, he defends his policies on TV screens in the press and becomes more loyal than the king. Lal Masjid incident and SC judges deposition are other episodes of this second half. This act of disloyalty earns him Sharif brothers wrath and upon their return they declared that there is no place for Rashid and Chaudhry brothers in their party. In 2008 elections and afterwards, Chaudhry Brothers, however, managed to get seats in the National Assembly and Senate but Rashid was left licking the dust and the constituencies, where he used to bag record votes, rejected him. A disappointed, desperate Sh Rashid forms his own party (which turns out to be one-man party) and struggles for his political existence. But the story does not end here. Sh Rashid gets another chance of comeback as after February 08 polls, PML-Ns main leader Javed Hashmi leaves NA-55 vacant opting for his ancestral seat in Multan. This was the first shock for the people of Rawalpindi from PML-N but a distant hope for Rashid. But people of Rawalpindi were not ready to forgive him in the by-election and Haji Pervaiz, an underdog, was picked by them instead of Farzand-e-Rawalpindi. Haji Pervaiz was proved no better and lost his seat in an exam corruption scandal - another shock for the people of Rawalpindi. This time, however, Sh Rashid heaved a sigh of relief as his political acumen urged him to take advantage of the situation. Now he is using the Pindi card, which according to him, is forsaken repeatedly by the PML-N and this is the only chance for the Pindiites to assert their separate identity. PML-N stalwarts, however, attach little significance to his claims and are of the view that once again Sh Rashid is going to suffer an embarrassing defeat. So the field is open and both the candidates little known Shakil Awan of PML-N and Sh Rashid of AML are in high spirits but it is yet to be seen whose day it turns out to be.