pakistan
Thursday Jul 07 2022
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By-poll in PP-202 Sahiwal: Poll battle could go down to the wire

Ghulam Sarwar and Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial
Ghulam Sarwar and Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial

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 Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) is hoping to maintain its narrow control. While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (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, Geo.tv provides an in-depth look into each constituency:

A profile of the constituency

Total voters: 233,079

Male voters: 127,284

Female voters: 105,795

PP-202 falls under the constituency NA-149, from where PTI’s Murtaza Iqbal is MNA.

2018 winner: In 2018, the provincial constituency was won by PTI’s Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial.

This year, Langrial 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 Nauman Ahmed Langrial.

While PTI has fielded Major (retired) Ghulam Sarwar.

Who could win?

It is a neck-to-neck fight. Nauman Langrial, one of the MPAs, who was at the forefront of the rebels camp that defected from the PTI earlier this year, has a considerable vote bank in the constituency. In 2018, he won with over 57,000 votes as a PTI candidate.

Langiral is considered an electable even though he joined the PTI in 2017.

But PTI’s chairman Imran Khan’s recent narrative and vigorous campaigning could give PML-N’s Langrial a tough time at the polls. The young population in PP-202 seems to be responding to Khan, as his rally on July 6 drew a mammoth crowd, even though the ground was overrun with water and mud after a heavy shower.

PTI’s candidate Ghulam Sarwar started his political career with Jamaat-e-Islami.

Election activity:

PTI’s Imran Khan has already held a political rally while PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz Sharif is expected to visit the constituency on July 11.

Constituency problems:

The roads are badly damaged, making it very difficult for people to commute.