Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, will hold by-elections on July 17 for 20 seats in the provincial assembly. The two traditional rivals, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on the opposition benches, face off to win the election. The by-elections are being seen as a test case for both parties and their rhetoric. This can be gauged from the fact that former Prime Minister Imran Khan himself is very active in the campaign and he is different. On the other hand, while Maryam Nawaz is holding large rallies, now two senior leaders of the party have also resigned from their ministries and joined the campaign, one of whom is former National Speaker. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is the Assembly while Khawaja Salman Rafique is the brother of other Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. The important question here is how did PML-N choose its candidates in Punjab? Is this party adhering to its policy of relying on ideological workers or adhering to the traditional ideology of ‘whoever wins is the Sultan’.
A cursory glance at the current political situation in Punjab to find answers to these questions can solve this dilemma to some extent.
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When the no-confidence motion in the federation was successful, Imran Khan had to wash his hands of the PM’s job. Earlier, Usman Bazdar, Imran Khan’s favorite chief minister in Punjab, whom he called Wasim Akram Plus, had also resigned. Leader and Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervez Elahi was fielded while PML-N nominated Hamza Shahbaz, son of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for this important post.
In order to make this contest one-sided, it was necessary for some members of PTI to vote for Noon League and this goal was achieved. Some assurances were given and thus Hamza Shahbaz got the support and votes of up to 20 members of PTI. I succeeded. When these 20 members voted Hamza Shahbaz for the post of Chief Minister, the PTI reached out to the Election Commission against these deviant members and then all these members lost their seats. Political observers think that maybe Muslim The league also did not expect that they would have to keep their promises so soon. Now was the time for the PML-N to fulfill its political promises and issue him party tickets in the by-elections. Although Hamza Shahbaz claims that he still has a majority in Punjab, He passed his promises to these members and handed over almost all the tickets to them. What happened then was that a wave of frustration ran through the ideological workers and candidates of the party and they are again forced to support these candidates. Who have been in power for almost the last four years. Simply put, the PML-N has given most of the tickets to those who voted for Hamza Shahbaz for the chief ministership. 10 of these 20 candidates ran independently in the 2018 elections and later I became part of the PTI.
Noon League trusts deviant members, ignores ideological political activists?
Before discussing the by-elections in Punjab now, it is important to get an answer from the PML-N on whether it can rely on ‘deviant members’ to ensure its success in these elections. Will be able to please.
On the other hand, while PML-N is targeting Imran Khan, he does not forget to mention his deviant members and appeals to the people to make fun of him this time. She is visiting these constituencies before the elections and is also raising questions about Imran Khan’s performance in addressing the rallies there, but the question remains whether these 20 members will be heartily recognized by the ideological workers of PML-N.
When PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar was asked to comment on the matter, he asked for some time to give his party’s position but then did not respond. On the other hand, Azmi Bukhari told the BBC that It is true that we have given tickets to those who supported us to send Imran Khan home. According to them, this was our mandate in Punjab which was stolen from Imran Khan.
According to Uzma Bukhari, out of these 20 days, the members were freely elected and had nothing to do with PTI. But on July 25, 2018, we had nine more seats than Imran Khan. The government will not be formed. According to him, now that these members have sacrificed their seats as compensation and have gone through a new process, it is our duty to support them. I have taken
“There is a problem in some constituencies. They are standing independently but the people are the ones who get the PML-N’s lion’s share of votes,” he said. ۔
What are the important factors in by-elections?
According to experts, political parties have not changed their approach to issuing tickets to electables.
Journalist and analyst Sohail Warraich says that the PML-N had made a promise to the deviant members of the PTI, which is why they now have to fulfill this promise. But the PML-N is leading in this race and has given tickets to most of the candidates who have been part of the PTI. Sohail Warraich Believes that this will be a fork in the road between PML-N and PTI but he thinks that PML-N has the advantage of being in the government and they are also good strategists for elections. It should be noted that PML-N Noon League has won all the by-elections held till date during the rule of BJP, like Noon League won 12 out of 13 by-elections in 2013, then there were 21 by-elections in Punjab from 2008 to 2018 and in all Noon League was the winner. In response to a question, Sohail Warraich said that it was not correct to estimate the votes and victory from the meetings. He thinks that the meetings of former Prime Minister Imran Khan are getting bigger at the moment but the politics of the constituencies is different.
Tahir Malik, a professor of international relations at Namal University in Islamabad, says Punjab’s politics is local in nature, with factions and communities playing a key role.
According to him, seeing these ‘factors’, both the parties are relying on electables instead of ideological workers. According to Tahir Malik, ten of these 20 members had won the 2018 elections as independents and then later they Had joined the PTI. Now they have become ten PML-N candidates. According to him, in the recent past, this trend is also seen in the politics of Punjab that people do not like those who change political affiliations for the sake of interest.
According to Tahir Malik, 15 to 20 percent of people decide to vote based on national, international affairs and circumstances, which is called a silent majority. According to him, this election is therefore a test for both parties. Because the performance of both is in front of the public. In his opinion, the turnout in the Punjab by-election will be higher than in Karachi as there is more mobilization here and both the parties are running a good election campaign.
Where are the Muslim League more at risk from the PTI?
If we talk about resentment, then we turn to Khushab, where Asif Bahn, a two-time Noon League activist, has now entered the fray as an independent. Although he says in his meetings that this seat is entrusted to Nawaz Sharif and he will win and hand over this seat to him. Not happy It is interesting to note that an ideological activist of PTI in this constituency has also come out in the field as an independent out of anger over the decision of his party ticket. Have come to the fore, which could be a wake-up call for the PML-N. From this constituency also, the PML-N has given tickets to the deviant member. This is the only constituency in these by-elections where there are women candidates. Syeda Zahra Batool Bukhari is the PML-N candidate from Muzaffargarh constituency 272. He had contested the by-election of 2018 on PTI ticket and was successful. His own son Haroon Bukhari and his daughter-in-law Banish Bukhari are independent candidates against Zahra Batool.
In Multan city constituency 217, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi himself is participating in the campaign of his son Zain Qureshi while the PML-N has not held a big rally here yet. Salman Naeem had defeated Shah Mehmood Qureshi from the provincial assembly seat in the 2018 elections and then he joined the PTI through the efforts of Jahangir Tareen. Member, Saeed Akbar Nawani, has been given a ticket. He has also been associated with PML-N in the past before joining PTI. Saeed Akbar Nawani has been a member of the Assembly eight times since 1985. The PTI has fielded Irfanullah Khan Niazi, the PML-N candidate in the last elections against him. , Where the PML-N candidate is Nazir Ahmad Chauhan. In this constituency, Nazir Ahmad Chauhan of PTI had won in 2018 by defeating Mian Muhammad Saleem of PML-N. Was summed up. Later, on his resignation, Asad Khokhar of PTI won the by-election. When Asad Khokhar joined the deviant group of PTI, now PML-N has issued him a ticket. In contrast, the PTI has issued a ticket to one of its workers, Malik Nawaz Awan.
The fourth constituency is PP-170. From here, Chaudhry Amin Gujjar is the PML-N candidate. Chaudhry Amin Gujjar is a close associate of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and brother of Aun Chaudhry, an adviser to current Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
In comparison, the PTI has nominated Zaheer Khokhar as its candidate.
In the PP-7 constituency of Rawalpindi, Raja Asghar Ahmed, an independent candidate in the 2018 general elections, won with more than 44,000 votes and then joined the PTI.
Raja Asghar Ahmed has joined the deviant members of PTI and is now contesting on PML-N ticket while PTI has issued ticket to Col (retd) Shabir Awan against him. DG ISI General (retd) Zaheer-ul-Salam is also present and has appealed to the people to vote for PTI. The constituency consists of Kahuta, Kalrasidan and the outskirts of Rawalpindi.