PTI, MMA vie for NA-28 seat

Semi-urban constituency consists of areas such as Akhundabad, Gulshanabad, Garhi Atta Mohammad

Our Correspondent July 22, 2018
Representational image. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: The NA-28 constituency was created by merging parts of the former NA-3 and NA-4 constituencies in the provincial capital following the recent delimitations.

This constituency can be called semi-urban and consists of areas such as Akhundabad, Gulshanabad, Garhi Atta Mohammad, Afridiabad, Hazar Khwani, Sarfraz Colony, Chamkani, Musazai, Tarnab, Sarzai Payan, Kandi Hayat, Badhami, Samar Bagh, Lundi Daudzai, Garhi Hamza, Kochin Garhi, Sharif Khan, Gul Bella and other areas.

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As many as 336,554 voters are registered in the constituency of which 196,071 are men while 140,483 are women.

There are six candidates contesting this constituency. Five of the candidates are competing from five different parties while one optimist is contesting the elections as an independent.

At one point in time, the ANP was quite strong in this constituency. However, it has since ceded ground to the MMA in this area.

In the 2013 general elections, the PTI was successful in entrenching itself in the constituency, making it a strong, and reliable vote bank for the party. The PPP and the PML-N do not enjoy much support in this area.

A semi-urban and semi-rural constituency, here too voting is clan-based. Given this fact, the ANP handed a ticket for the constituency to Shafi Akbar, a resident of the Hazar Khwani (located in the constituency) area. While Akbar hails from a family with four decades of strong and proud tradition of contesting elections, this will be his first foray into direct elections.

The PTI, on the other hand, has awarded a ticket to Arbab Amir in the constituency. He is the son of late Arbab Noor Muhammad Khan and brother of MNA Arbab Zahir.

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Ayub was previously a member of the ANP, serving as their town Nazim. But he joined the PTI in 2017 and beat competition from PML-N candidate in NA-4 by-polls just 10 months ago.

The MMA has given a ticket to Sabir Hussein Awan from this constituency. Awan had won the NA-4 constituency in the 2002 elections. An office bearer of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) he is also the president of the Awan community organization.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has issued a ticket to Ikramullah, while the PML-N has issued a ticket to Intikhab Khan.

The biggest competition in this constituency is between the PTI and the MMA. The ANP, though, is also a strong contender for the seat.

A large number of people belonging to the Awan and Malik clans live in Chamkani, Badai and its surrounding areas. They will probably key to deciding who wins in this constituency.

The Sadaat and the Arbabs are also strong in this area. The votes in this constituency are determined on two factors. Majorly, or around 70 per cent vote on a party basis, while the remaining 30 per cent vote on community or clan basis.

Based on past voting behaviours in this area, it is expected that the turnout will be over 40 per cent.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2018.


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