LAHORE - To ensure victory in by-elections in NA-122 and the PP-147 Lahore, the main contenders - PML-N and PTI - are pursuing hectic campaign to woo the voters.

After shunning the legal course against the Election Tribunal decision against Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Mohsin Latif, stakes are very high for the PML-N in the by-polls.

As such the party is much more active to gather such a strength that could earn it a victory in the by-election beyond the level of the margin of face saving. The PTI too is not at all willing to leave any stone unturned to win the polls and is quite jubilant after the party chairman, Imran Khan, is poised to address the public meetings following LHC permission.

Both the parties have whipped up their activists and workers to door to door contacts, arrangement of corner meeting, and reaching out the party workers who stood isolated after the general elections.

Even as the PML-N is ruling Punjab, its ministers have been barred from taking part in electioneering as well as from using the development funds as a matter of influencing the voters. As such the N-League feels constraints on its campaign to an extent and the party would like to mend the deficit through the big meetings of main party leaders including Hamza Shahbaz.

The PML-N City chapter is already shouldering the campaign efforts of the party candidates.

The N-workers are found feeling the upbeat of winning the polls. They mostly base their opinions on Pakistan Gallup and Pulse Consultant survey which held the N candidates ahead of the rivals. The PTI did not accept the figures and claimed the PML-N workers were joining the party in big number.

The PTI also claimed of getting support of the PML-N big guns in the constituency but did not disclose their names observing expediency. PTI candidates Aleem Khan and Muhammad Shoaib Siddiqui are hopeful of making a big stride in campaign once the party chief will be in the constituency addressing the voters.

Imran Khan is expected to start addressing the public meeting in every UC immediately after Eid. Notably, the PTI women and ISF are much involved in the electioneering while presence of the youth is quite visible at the main office at Ghari Shahu and others in Samnabad and Dharampura.

On the other hand, the PML-N at this stage is directing its efforts in mopping up its supporters and voters, and also brining in the folds those who in the last election did not cast votes for any reason but are basically Muslim Leaguers.

According to sources, small teams have been set up to identify such voters, groups and families and braderies where the party candidates will personally reach out to put them in his electoral strength.

At present N candidate are holding corners meeting in the constituency and electorate would be strongly mobilised through the public addresses of principal leaders. Despite all that the public opinion about the performance of the PML-N is mixed.

It is interesting that both sides are vying for the support of silent voters in the constituency. In the last general election, a total of 184151 voters had voted for NA seat which was 40 percent of the total. This time round the turnout may improve as contenders are getting in touch with the rest 60 per cent. This swing vote could be decisive in the by-elections and with their votes chances of a high turnout are expected.

PML-N feels that Aleem Khan is not as tough contender as it was Imran Khan in the last elections while the PTI is trying to make a mark by wooing the large voters of katchi abadis of Bajalane, Old Water Tank, Basti Saiden and others where the problem galore is disgruntled the people against the N government.

Arians and Kamboh are two main castes in the constituency. Arians are divided as they support the candidates according to the majority trend of voters in their respective locality, performance and character of the candidates. Reportedly, the candidates are using means of the Arian elders to get support of their caste. As to Kamboh, they are more compact and are mostly governed by the decision of their association.

The Kamboh, this time round, as it was learnt, had some reservations and complaints about the ruling party as most of them are displeased with the inordinate delay committed in the completion in LOS-Multan Road, non availability of potable water and bad sewerage system and undeveloped roads.

In Samnabad, Icchra and Ghari Shahu voters expressed serious resentment against Ayaz Sadiq for not showing up after winning the election. Similarly many other raised fingers at Aleem Khan as his rival dubbed him land grabber and defaulter of public money.

In posh localities of the constituencies like Upper Mall, majority voters are in favour of PTI while the trading community of the constituency is divided over the issue of withholding tax.

There is no conspicuous grouping of voters expecting some union-led voters in Locoshed and the adjoining areas. So the picture is yet unclear as to who has bright winning prospects.

As the time is passing by electioneering in the constituency is picking up momentum and after Eidul Azha it would go up in a big way to reach the peak before the election day on October 11.