pakistan
Wednesday Jul 06 2022
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By-poll in PP-140 Sheikhupura: Don’t ignore the new voters

PTIs Khurram Shehzad Virk (L) and PML-Ns Mian Khalid Mehmood. — Photos by author
PTI's Khurram Shehzad Virk (L) and PML-N's Mian Khalid Mehmood. — Photos by author

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 each constituency:

A profile of the constituency

  • Total voters: 241,598
  • Male voters: 130,315
  • Female voters: 111,283

PP-7 falls under the constituency NA-121, from where PML-N’s Javed Latif is MNA.

2018 winner: In 2018, the provincial constituency was won by Mian Khalid Mehmood, who won as a PTI candidate.

This year, Mehmood 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 Mian Khalid Mehmood.

While PTI has fielded Advocate Khurram Shehzad Virk.

TLP’s candidate is Chaudhry Javed Iqbal.

Who could win?

At the moment, PTI’s Khurram Virk has put up a strong fight. Since this is an urban constituency, it is likely that the electorate will cast a ballot on the basis of political parties. Voters are upset about inflation which is why they could vote against the PML-N, and for the PTI.

Apart from this, Virk has both the PTI leadership and the PML-Q’s ex-MNA Khurram Munawar Manj campaigning for him.

Another factor that could hugely benefit Virk is that since 2018, 41,000 new voters have been added to this constituency. These young voters, who recently turned 18 years old, could vote for PTI.

Virk is contesting for the first time. He is the president of the district bar association.

PML-N’s Mehmood was in PML-Q in 2002, on whose platform he won the seat of MPA for the first time. In 2018, he contested on a PTI ticket and won with over 32,000 votes. During the PTI government, he was a provincial minister.

If the PML-N vote bank also goes to him, which is a considerable tally in this constituency, he could be victorious.

This is one constituency where the TLP candidate cannot be discounted. In 2018, the TLP came third in this constituency. In this election, its candidate is running a vigorous, door-to-door campaign on the basis of religion.

Election activity

Both PTI’s Imran Khan and PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz Sharif have held rallies here.

Constituency problems

One major problem is the lack of proper electrical connections.