Tough fight expected...
CHAKWA L: A tough electoral battle is expected in Chakwal, a PML-N dominated district, where the ruling party will confront two political rivals: the Sardar Ghulam Abbas group and the emerging PTL Over 2,000 candidates are participating in the elections of 71 union councils (UC) and six municipal committees in which 1,009,947 citizens will exercise their right to vote.[TOP]
The PML-N, which currently has nine parliamentarians, including three MNAs, one senator and five MPAs, has been a major political force in the district for the last three decades.
According to political observers, Chakwal will remain a PML-N stronghold unless its leading rival,Sardar Ghulam Abbas, does not rejoin the PTL The politics in NA-60 (Chakwal I) revolves around PML-N and former district nazim Sardar Ghulam Abbas, who enjoys a large voter base as an individual.
In NA-61 (Chakwal II), an area based in the Talagang tehsil with villages from the Chakwal tehsil and the Kallar Kahar tehsil, the political conversation centres around the PML-N and PTI.
Sardar Ghulam Abbas joined the PTI in 2011 but left before the 2013 general elections. He has fielded his candidates under an independent panel and contested the battle for NA-60 against PML-N`s Tahir Iqbal and PTI`s Raja Yassir Sarfraz.
Mr Abbas received 100,100 votes against Mr Iqbal`s 129,159 and Mr Sarfraz`s 47,546.
Although PML-N won the NA-60 seat, its two main opponents received more votes than Mr Iqbal.
Since the local government elections are being held on a party basis, PMLN, PTI and the Sardar Ghulam Abbas group have fielded candidates in almost all the UCs and municipal committees.
In UC Munara Malik Aslam Sethi, father of provincial minister Malik Tanvir Aslam, is contesting the election for the chairperson seat, and in UC Jand Awan Malik Naeem Asghar, the brother of MNA Tahir Iqbal, is contesting for the slot of the chairperson.
Because the chairperson of the district council is elected from UC chairpersons, the likely candidates for the district council chairperson seat would be Mr Sethi and Mr Asghar, who are contesting from their native UCs.
In Talagang, the PTI is in a position to give the PML-N a tough time, as Sardar Mansoon Hayat Tamman, a former MNA, is spearheading the party there.
As many as 828 polling stations have been set up, of which 265 have been declared `sensitive`.
More than 3,000 police personnel will be deployed for the election duty.