By-poll in PP-282 Layyah: The key to winning election — the Saraiki vote

July 05, 2022

PP-282 falls under NA-187 from where PTI’s Abdul Majeed Khan Niazi was elected as MNA

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PTI's Qaiser Abbas Magsi, PML-N's Muhammad Tahir Randhawa and independent candidate Muhammad Riaz. — Reporter

On July 17, the control of the Punjab Assembly will be on the line, as the race for 20 seats in the province heats up.

In Pakistan's most politically important province, PML-N is hoping to maintain its narrow control. While the PTI is aiming to wrest the province away from the ruling party.

Who could tip the balance in their favor?

In the run-up to the by-polls, provides an in-depth look into each constituency:

A profile of the constituency

Total voters: 202,249

Male voters: 110,849

Female voters: 91,400

PP-282 falls under NA-187 from where PTI’s Abdul Majeed Khan Niazi is MNA.

2018 winner: In 2018, the provincial assembly constituency was won by Muhammad Tahir Randhawa, who won as an independent and later joined the PTI on the insistence of businessman Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Randhawa was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan for voting against his party in the election for chief minister Punjab.

Contesting candidates

The PML-N has allotted the ticket to Muhammad Tahir Randhawa.

While PTI has fielded Qaiser Abbas Magsi.

Muhammad Riaz is contesting independently.

Who could win?

There is a substantial Saraiki vote bank in the constituency, which will likely be divided between PTI’s Qaiser Magsi and the independent Muhammad Riaz. This could benefit PML-N’s Randhawa, who already has the support of the notables in the area, such as former nazims.

It is important to highlight that PML-N workers are upset with their political party for giving the ticket to Randhawa, who defeated PML-N's candidate Muhammad Riaz in 2018. Riaz polled in third, while second was PTI’s Qaiser Magsi, who lost to Randhwa by 10,000 votes.

PP-282 is largely an urban constituency where voters can vote both for the party as well on the basis of biradari (clan).

Here, the right-wing TLP is also expected to cut into the vote banks of all three candidates.

Election activity

There has been a very low key election campaign by both candidates, so far.

Constituency problems

Two large issues are water problems and lack of proper infrastructure. There are also some areas in PP-282 which still do not have electricity.

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