Ghulam Hussain Bhatti is running for chairman from the PML-N platform and Chaudhary Azam Gujjar for his vice chairman
A neck-and-neck race is on the cards between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insadf (PTI) candidates in Union Council 229, though the PTI candidate may suffer on account of a hopeful who was denied party ticket from the UC and has chosen to run as an independent.
Ghulam Hussain Bhatti is running for chairman from the PML-N platform and Chaudhary Azam Gujjar for his vice chairman. PTI’s Javed Iqbal Bhatti is running for chairman and Chaudhary Nasir Jutt for vice chairman.
Ghulam Hussain Bhatti was elected nazim in 2001. MPA Ramazan Sidique of PP-153 is a cousin. PTI’s Javed Iqbal Bhatti was also elected naib nazim in 2001. Iqbal and Ghulam Hussain had campaigned together for the local government elections.
Hussain Bhatti says there is a lot to be done. “The local government elected in 2001 had relaid Mujahid Road and Millat Road and had commercialised the zone. We also drew up a master plan for the neighbourhood so that housing and water supply issues could be resolved.”
“It has been seven years since there was an elected local government in this area. Water accumulation in low-lying areas, public schools and housing are the main issues that should be addressed,” he says
He says the PML-N enjoys a lot of support in the area. “The dreams of the PTI’s contender will shatter on election day,” he says.
Javed Iqbal Bhatti claimed said the PML-N government had done nothing for the masses.
“This neighbourhood has been neglected for many years,” he says. He says the PTI will emerge victorious as people wanted things to change through election.
When asked whether Ashfaq Baloch, the former PTI strongman in the area contesting the election independently, could affect his vote bank, he says he is confident about his chances.
Several residents of the area say Baloch had introduced the PTI to the UC. They say Baloch could win election without a party ticket because of his popularity and network on the ground.
All candidates have promised to set up recreation spots and dispensaries. They have also promised to upgrade the graveyard and open more schools in the area.
Quaid Millat Colony, Baba Fareed Colony, Hamdani Park, Al-Mustafa Colony, Data Town and Fazal Haq Colony are included. More than 30,000 voters are registered there.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.