The activists say the forthcoming elections are likely to prove an extension of provincial and national politics
The independent panel contesting the forthcoming local government elections in Union Council-255 is confident about emerging victorious in the polls.
The panel has premised its electoral campaign on the strength of the social work carried out by its members in the area. Aspiring general councillor Salman Ayub says the panel is composed of individuals resident in the area who have a stake in its fortunes. He says they are well-educated individuals who are respected in the area. “Our candidates have been residing here for decades. Others view them as one of their own,” Ayub said. He says their rivals, on the other hand, do not reside in the locality. “Some of our candidates are presidents of housing societies where they dwell. Others are affiliated with mosque committees,” Ayub said. He says political affiliation will have a negligible impact on the polls as the contest is primarily premised on problems that bedevilled the localities and voters had access to candidates.
Haji Muhammad Sarwar, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI’s) candidate for the UC’s chairmanship, is upbeat about his party’s prospects in the forthcoming polls. Sarwar says the high-level of education prevalent across the locality has enabled residents to take note of the government’s failure to deliver. He says PTI candidate Azhar Khurshid’s stellar electoral record in the area is also a testament to PTI’s enduring popularity in the locality. Sarwar says the party will taste victory in the elections also because the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N’s) candidate for the UC’s chairmanship is not a local. “He lives in Bahria Town and is ignorant of issues that residents grapple with,” he claimed. Sarwar says the prospects of the independent panel do not look too bright as he is expecting a two-way contest between the PTI and the PML-N.
Activists of the PML-N posit the same opinion as Sarwar regarding the two-way nature of the contest. PML-N workers say the people have voted for it in the 2013 general elections and will support the party in the forthcoming polls. They say the party will defeat the PTI just as it had done in previous by-polls. Commenting on the independent panel, he says the party will not be fazed by it as locals are acquainted with the PML-N and would vote on an ideological basis. The activists say the forthcoming elections are likely to prove an extension of provincial and national politics. They say this will be demonstrated in the forthcoming polls.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.