Voters believe no candidate running for chairmanship can do much for them
LAHORE: Union Council 59 is one of the smaller union council constituencies. It is plagued by a myriad of problems and is home to lower middle class income people.
“Water is one of the main issues,” Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate for vice chairman Hafiz Abdul Majid says. It is not limited to a shortage of water but also the supply. “A lot of people here lack access to safe drinking water. Water shortage is probably a problem the entire city suffers.”
He says another major problem in the area is that there are no public parks. “There are some small parks but even those are not well maintained so most people do not visit them.”
Majid, who runs a shop in Urdu Bazaar, says he is contesting the elections for the first time. “I live on Outfall Road and know the area well.” He says the areas
The PTI candidate for chairman, Mateenur Rehman, sells watches in the area and will also be contesting the election for the first time. He says that he is confident of PTI’s success in the area even though they do not have a complete panel. “We are short of a candidate for the councillor seat but I do not feel this will take away our votes.”
Candidates fielded by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are also confident of their victory. The candidate for chairman, Ilyas Khan, was elected nazim in 2001 and 2005. At that time, the area fell under Union Council 80. “Those elections were not on party basis, however, I was affiliated with the PML-N,” he says.
The PML-N vice candidate for chairman, Chaudhary Manzoor Gujjar, has also previously been a council member from the area.
Most residents, however, do not think either of them can do much for them.
“We have lived here since the Partition and nothing has changed,” Muhammad Abbas, a resident, says. It doesn’t matter what political party they belong to, most of the candidates visit us during an election campaign and promise the moon, never to return, he says.
Another resident, Muhammad Nauman says that cleanliness was a huge problem in the area. “Heaps of garbage pile up for days and no one removes them. When we call the Lahore Waste Management Authority, even they ignore us.”
Nauman says despite all the problems, the PML-N would probably win. “They have always won here.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.