Sohail Mahmood Butt and Chaudhry Majeed Alam have faced off in local government elections in 2001 and 2005
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) chairman and vice-chairman candidates in union council no213 (Allama Iqbal Town) are former rivals.
Sohail Mahmood Butt, a trader who is contesting for the chairmanship, and Chaudhry Majeed Alam, his partner on the vice chairman seat, have faced off in local government elections in 2001 and 2005.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Alam, a property dealer, says he had secured a PTI ticket for chairmanship from the area when the local government elections were earlier announced in 2013. After the postponement of the elections, he says he was drawn towards the PML-N. Butt says he had won the nazim election in 2005. He says he knows the area very well and is confident of winning on October 31. Both candidates say the most complicated issues in the area have already been taken care of. The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) has fielded Muhammad Awais Liaqat and Rana Kashif Altaf for the UC chair and deputy chair seats.
They dismiss the PML-N candidates’ claim that municipal services in the area are already in perfect shape. They mention a poor sewerage system and shortage of potable water as major problems. They say if elected they will also try to establish a public school in Najaf Colony (a katchi abadi).
Several residents The Tribune spoke to say they were excited about having an elected local government. However, they expressed disappointment in the candidates’ lack of understanding about the extent of the authority of local governments. They say some services promised by the candidates during the campaign are clearly not under their jurisdiction.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2015.