Nawaz challenged by opponents in NA-120

 

Nawaz challenged by opponents in NA-120

NA-120 comprises the areas of old Lahore, including Bilal Ganj, Mozang, Kareem Park, Rewaz Garden, Anarkali, Krishan Nagar, Sanat Nagar, Ravi Road and Gawal Mandi.

This constituency not only has some old localities like Krishan Nagar, Sanat Nagar and Gowalmandi but it also has some busy markets of Lahore like Anarkali, Hall Road, Urdu Bazaar and Lytton Road. This constituency has shrines of famous saints Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh and Hazrat Mian Mir.

This particular constituency is considered the stronghold and home constituency of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif who contested his first election in 1985 and afterwards became Punjab chief minister and prime minister of Pakistan by winning elections from here. Now, Nawaz Sharif is again contesting election from this constituency after the delay of 16 years as he had won the last election in 1997. Now, this time around his main rivals are PTI’s Dr Yasmeen Rashid, PPP’s Zubair Kardar and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Sulman Butt.

The provincial assembly seats falling under this constituency are PP-139 and PP-140. The PP 139 constituency includes Bilal Ganj, Urdu Bazaar, Karim Park and Ravi Road while PP 140 has the areas including Krishan Nagar, Sanda, Rewaz Garden, Mozang and Gawalmandi.Though the PML-N always sailed through this constituency quite comfortably, this time around the PTI phenomenon is still not being gauged by the political pundits. The unseen vote bank of the PTI has made the PML-N leaders quite restless.

Elections from this constituency were won by Pervez Malik in 2002 and by Bilal Yasin, a close relative of Nawaz Sharif, in 2008. While Imran Nazir won election from PP-139 and Ajasam Sharif from PP-140.Though majority of the PML-N workers seems extremely annoyed with Bilal Yaseen and Kh Imran Nazir for not accommodating them properly and resolving the problems of the area, yet the decision of Nawaz Sharif to contest election from this particular constituency infused new spirit among them. Talking to The News, some of the workers alleged that Kh Imran Nazir and Bilal Yaseen gave them only lollipop and done nothing concrete for them.

They claimed that they remained inaccessible to them and if anybody managed to reach them, they just made false promises with them. Now the PML-N has changed faces and removed Kh Imran from PP-139 and demoted Bilal Yaseen to the provincial assembly election. Ajasam Sharif has been replaced with another Arian from Mozang, Majid Zahoor.Now, the campaign of Nawaz Sharif is being supervised by his daughter Maryam Nawaz who started the political campaign of his father with opening his election office on The Mall the other day. While Nawaz Sharif will be busy in holding public meeting, Maryam Nawaz is expected to launch his door-to-door campaign besides activating the annoyed political workers of the party.

On the other hand, PTI fielded a strong candidate, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, to contest election against PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif from NA-120. Dr Yasmeen Rashid is a noted figure in Lahore and professional, who retired as professor of gynaecology of King Edward Medical University, but never remained aloof from politics.She remained president of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) several times besides holding its other offices.She belongs to a political family and traditionally her family had been the follower of the PPP and her father-in-law also won Lahore’s same seat under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and later her brother-in-law also contested election in Lahore.

Talking to The News at her main election office at Krishin Nagar, Dr Yasmeen Rashid said she had the habit of accepting challenges and her professional life was reflection of her claim. She said she always raised voice for the rights of doctors. She said that though she was being termed political novice, her family had a political history. She said that she knew it was a huge challenge to defeat PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif from this constituency but she was up for it. She said as the PML-N had done nothing particular in the area which would be in the benefit of the PTI.

She said she had launched a door-to-door campaign and getting positive response from the masses as they were sick of old traditional politics of these two political parties which remained in collusion during the past five years and were equally responsible for this prevailing sorry state of affairs in Pakistan. She said her colleagues (doctors) and patients were supporting her wholeheartedly and even running her campaign. She said system of the country was going from bad to worse and people needed credible leadership for the country for putting the country on right track.

Dr Yasmeen said she had been active in welfare and other humanitarian works without holding any government office and if she became a part of government, she would have a chance to do more than she was doing these days.She said clean drinking water was a major issue and the past rulers did nothing in this regard. She alleged that billboards and PTI banners are being removed by the authorities, showing their double standards as the PML-N banners and posters were not even touched.Talking to The News, PPP ticket holder from NA-120 Zubair Kardar said that he was busy in resolving internal party issues as a few party workers were unhappy at this time due to multiple reasons.

About the major issues of the constituency, Kardar said there was no clean water to drink as majority of the population was deprived of it. He said gas and electricity issues were also required solution. He said he was contesting from the PPP first time but his uncle, former cricketer and first captain of Pakistan cricket team, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, got elected an MPA in 1970. He said State Bank of Pakistan former Governor Shahid Hafeez Kardar is his cousin who is son of Abdul Hafeez Kardar.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Sulman Butt is a noted figure and he got elected from this constituency once. Hafiz Sulman, known for his bold speeches and strong stances, is all set to challenge the PML-N, the PTI and the PPP. Talking to The News, he said that the PML-N had wasted one month time due to seat adjustment issue. He said the Jamaat had launched a door-to-door campaign for the coming election in NA-120. He said that clean drinking water in the constituency was a major problem. Hafiz Salman said people of the area were also suffering due to lack of educational and health facilities. He said only GCU and Islamia College were major educational institutes and Mayo Hospital was providing health services to a large number of the people.

Commenting on the law and order situation of the constituency, Butt claimed that due to the riverbed, outlaws were active in the area. He said as the PML-N did nothing in the last five years.He hoped that it would be good battle in NA-120 with his opponents.Meanwhile, tough competition is expected in PP-139 where Bilal Yaseen from the PML-N, Mazhar Iqbal Bhalli Butt from the PTI and Mian Majid from the PPP are contesting election. A tough competition is expected in this constituency between the PTI and the PML-N while the PPP candidate can also prove dark horse. In PP-140, Majid Zahoor is having edge over his rival candidate Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi who is political novice in this constituency. – TheNews