HYDERABAD: Jamshoro district’s electoral landscape appears poised to see a roused political battle before the polls on July 25 as one of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) former MPA has taken up arms against his party.
Dr Sikandar Shoro, who was elected in 2013 on the PPP ticket from the constituency comprising Kotri taluka entered on Tuesday into an alliance with Sindh United Party (SUP) President Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, who is also a former deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly. The grouping has been dubbed as Jamshoro Ittehad.
Dr Shoro took the plunge after the PPP denied him a ticket to run from the same constituency, which is now PS-82 after the new delimitations. The party has fielded Malik Asad Sikandar in the constituency who is an influential political figure of Jamshoro. He has been elected MNA four times and MPA twice, besides also serving as the nazim of Jamshoro from 2005 to 2009.
“The objective of this alliance is to liberate people from persons who have been ruling the district for the last four decades,” said Jalal and Dr Shoro, while addressing a press conference. According to them, Jamshoro district was rich in mineral resources but the unremitting clout of an individual had kept the district underdeveloped and its people impoverished.
Earlier in July 2017, Asad locked horns with the PPP leadership when he resisted the alleged removal of four revenue dehs from Jamshoro and protested against land acquisition in the district by a real estate developer. In the months that followed, his supporters remained at the receiving end as their businesses faced crackdown from various government departments.
Protests led by MPA Faqirdad Khoso, who belonged to Asad’s camp, were also staged several times. During that phase, Dr Shoro was considered as a rival of Asad and the district’s bureaucracy was also reportedly given under his control.
A week before the PPP announced its candidates, the local media reported that Asad was considering to contest elections as an independent candidate if he was refused the ticket. “The PPP leadership gave ticket of PS-82 to Asad because of some wrong information,” claimed Dr Shoro.
He said his manner of popular politics of reaching out to people and helping them resolve their problems did not go well with Asad. Dr Shoro maintained that he would accept any decision which the PPP might take after his alliance with Jalal.
Jalal said his party was also negotiating with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and other political parties for an election alliance against the PPP.
For the district’s single National Assembly seat, the PPP has fielded Sikandar Rahupto, whereas, for the three provincial assembly constituencies, the party has awarded tickets to former chief minister Murad Ali Shah, former minister Gianchand Isarani and Asad who will be contesting from PS-80, PS-81 and PS-82 respectively.
From Jamshoro Ittehad, which appears to be the strongest challenger to the PPP in the district, Jalal will contest from NA-233 and PS-80, whereas Muhammad Saleh Brahmani and Dr Shoro will be contesting the elections from PS-81 and PS-82 respectively.