All set for country’s biggest clash in NA-122

LAHORE: All preparations are completed for the biggest clash in the history of Pakistan as two big guns are challenging each other in NA-122 Lahore, termed to be the decider of the future course of the country’s politics.

The key battle will take place in Lahore, traditionally considered the epicentre of the country’s politics.

By-elections are being held for National Assembly’s NA-122 and provincial assembly’s PP-147 in the Punjab capital. By-poll for NA-144, Okara will also take place tomorrow.

A close fight is expected between the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by flamboyant cricket legend-turned-politician Imran Khan.

Candidates, after the expired deadline of election campaigns last night, are expected to rest tonight before the battle resumes tomorrow morning.

Strict security arrangements have been made for the by-polls as Pakistan Army personnel alongside police will be deployed at sensitive polling stations to avoid any untoward incidents.

Electoral material has already been handed over to the polling staff under the Army supervision.

Here’s the look at the two Lahore constituencies:

NA-122 Lahore-IV

The seat fell vacant on August 22 this year following the verdict of an election tribunal against former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of PML-N, declaring the 2013 poll results null and void.

Although almost 20 candidates are contesting Sunday’s by-election, the main competition is likely to take place between Sadiq and Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Aleem Khan.

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Barrister Mian Amir Hassan and Advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhry of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) are other prominent candidates for the National Assembly seat.

Number of total registered voters in the constituency is over 347,762, out of which 190,328 are male and 157,434 female voters.

180 out of total 284 polling stations have declared sensitive. 673 polling both have been set up for male and female voters separately.

PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq succeeded in securing 93,389 votes in the 2013 general election. His closest rival was PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who managed to bag 84,517 votes.

Expressing dissatisfaction on the results, Khan had been demanding an audit of the poll right from the day one.

PPPP’s Amir Hassan could only manage to grab 2,833 votes in the 2013 polls.

PP-147 Lahore-XI

The Punjab Assembly seat fell vacant following the verdict of an election tribunal earlier this year, which declared the 2013 poll results null and void.

About 11 candidates are partaking in Sunday’s by-election including PML-N’s Mohsin Latif, Muhammad Shoaib Siddiqui of PTI, Advocate Iftikhar Shahid of PPP and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) Advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhry, who is also the party candidate for NA-122.

Candidates of PML-N, PTI and PPP also came face to face in the 2013 election as Mohsin Latif of PML-N came out victorious with 36,781 votes back then.

Siddiqui of PTI came second with 30,174 votes while PPPP’s Advocate Shahid could secure 1,873 votes only.

Total number of registered voters in the provincial constituency is over 140,767, out of which 77,729 are male and 63,038 are female voters.

Several polling stations of the total 111 have been declared sensitive for Sunday’s by-poll.

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