Wednesday Jul 06 2022

By-poll in PP-170 Lahore: Angry PML-N voters could benefit PTI

PML_Ns Amin Zulqarnain (L) and PTIs Zaheer Abbas Khokhar. — Photo by author.

PML_N's Amin Zulqarnain (L) and PTI's Zaheer Abbas Khokhar. — Photo 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, provides an in-depth look into each constituency:

A profile of the constituency

  • Total voters: 114,652
  • Male voters: 60,594
  • Female voters: 54,058

PP-170 falls under the constituency NA-134, where PML-N’s Rana Mubashir Iqbal is MNA.

2018 winner: In 2018, the provincial constituency was won by PTI’s Amin Zulqarnain.

This year, Zulqarnain was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan for voting against his party in the election for chief minister of Punjab.

Contesting candidates

The PML-N has allotted the ticket to Amin Zulqarnain.

While PTI has fielded Zaheer Abbas Khokhar.

Who could win?

Muhammad Amin Zulqarnain is the brother of PTI’s former member, Awn Chaudhry. Zulqarnain started his political career in 2005 from the platform of the PML-Q. He joined the PTI in 2011 but defected earlier this year.

In 2018, he defeated the PML-N candidate from PP-170 by over 5,000 votes.

Zulqarnain is at a disadvantage till now as PML-N voters and the PML-N leadership is not in favour of supporting a candidate, who till recently, was with its rival, the PTI. This is why there are not many senior PML-N leaders in the field campaigning for him.

Instead, his brother, Awn Chaudhry, is the one moving door-to-door.

On the other hand, PTI’s Khokhar is a former MNA and managing director of Bait-ul-Maal. His campaign is a lot more vigorous and is being spearheaded by PTI’s Yasmin Rashid. PTI’s MNA Karamat Khokhar, who is his uncle, is also campaigning for him and has a lot of influence in the area.

Around half of the constituency is urban, such as Wapda Town, Johar Town, and Valencia, while the other half falls in the outskirts of Lahore.

Election activity

PTI’s Imran Khan held a large political rally in the constituency.

Constituency problems

In underdeveloped areas, there are no proper gas and electricity connections.