pakistan
Friday Jul 01 2022
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By-poll in PP-224 Lodhran: PML-N should not get too comfortable

PML-Ns candidate for PP-224 by-polls Zawar Hussain Warraich (right) and PTI candidate Amir Iqbal Shah can be seen in these Facebook file photos.
PML-N's candidate for PP-224 by-polls Zawar Hussain Warraich (right) and PTI candidate Amir Iqbal Shah can be seen in these Facebook file photos.

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, the 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 favour?

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

A profile of the constituency

  • Total voters: 232,175
  • Male voters: 123,950
  • Female voters: 108,225

PP-224 falls under NA-160, where PML-N’s Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju is MNA.

2018 winner: Zawar Hussain Warraich bagged this provincial constituency in 2018 as a PTI candidate.

This year, Warraich 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 Zawar Hussain Warraich, while the PTI has fielded Amir Iqbal Shah.

Who could win?

The election is a nip and tuck affair, where both candidates have an equal chance of victory.

Some factors that favour PML-N’s Warraich are: one, a sitting PML-N MNA, Abdul Rehman Kanju, is openly campaigning for him. Kanju holds a lot of weight in the constituency and has played an instrumental role in the past in helping defeat PML-N’s opponents from here.

As for PTI’s Amir Iqbal Shah, interestingly, he was a PML-N ticket holder in the 2018 election. Shah lost to Warraich back then by over 12,000 votes.

One card up his sleeve is his father, Iqbal Shah, who in February 2018 defeated Jahangir Khan Tareen’s son, Ali Tareen, in NA-154 by a whopping 21,000 votes. Iqbal Shah was PML-N’s candidate then.

Not only that, the Shah family has a good reputation in the constituency and also have the support of PTI’s MNA from Lodhran, Shafiq Arain. Furthermore, the constituency merges into the constituency of PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Election activity

A very low profile election campaign. Former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan will be visiting the constituency on July 14 to hold a large political rally.

Constituency problems

The lack of clean drinking water and health facilities.