Monday Jul 04 2022

By-poll in PP-167 Lahore: Firing, violence, raids mar election campaigns

The PML-N has allotted the ticket to Nazir Ahmed Chohan (right) while PTI has fielded Shabbir Gujjar (left) —
The PML-N has allotted the ticket to Nazir Ahmed Chohan (right) while PTI has fielded Shabbir Gujjar (left) —

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, provides an in-depth look into each constituency:

A profile of the constituency

Total voters: 220,348

Male voters: 114,374

Female voters: 105,974

PP-167 falls under the constituency NA-133, where PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz Malik is MNA.

2018 winner: In 2018, the provincial constituency was won by PTI’s Nazir Ahmed Chohan.

This year, Chohan 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 Nazir Ahmed Chohan.

While PTI has fielded Shabbir Gujjar.

Who could win?

Chohan joined the PTI in 2012. He defeated the PML-N candidate by over 2,000 votes in the 2018 election.

Now, Chohan has the support of the PML-N, which has a considerable vote bank here. Those running his election campaign are PML-N’s Ali Pervaiz Malik and Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

While, PTI’s Shabbir Gujjar, who is the brother of PTI leader Khalid Gujjar, is on the stump in the constituency with the help of former ministers Hammad Azhar and Shafqat Mehmood.

PP-167 is the only constituency in Lahore which has experienced episodes of violence between workers of the two rival parties, after which the Election Commission ordered a probe. Gujjar has also accused the Punjab police of raiding his offices and arresting his workers, on the direction of the ruling PML-N.

The real contest will be between the PML-N and the PTI, as voters are expected to vote for a political party instead of an individual.

It is also important to mention here that in the 2018 election, the right-wing TLP secured the third position in the constituency.

Election activity:

Some of the areas that fall under PP-167 are Johar Town, Green Town and Township.

Both PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz Sharif and PTI’s Imran Khan have held large political rallies here to galvanize their voters.

Constituency problems:

The main concerns are lack of clean drinking water and damaged roads.