BAHAWALPUR: As many as 16 hopefuls are contesting Cantonment Board elections in Bahawalpur.
Final lists of the candidates were issued last week. As many as 25 people had submitted nominations for three wards. As many as nine people later withdrew the nominations.
According to the final list, there are four candidates contesting the election from Ward 1, five from Ward 2 and seven candidates will contest the election from Ward 3.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has nominated Imran Ahmad Mani from Ward 1, Chaudhry Majid Bajwa from Ward 2 and Muhammad Akhtar from Ward 3.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has nominated Shahab Saqib Rehmani from Ward 1 and Syed Muhammad Ali from Ward 3.
Malik Imtiaz Ahmed Channar from Ward 1, Muhammad Nadeem from Ward 2 and Aamir Sohail from Ward 3 are running on Pakistan Peoples Party tickets.
There are 19,407 registered voters for the election. As many as 16 polling stations have been set up with 38 polling booths - 19 each for men and women.
Ward 1 consists of the posh area of Bahawalpur like Model Town A and Hashmi Garden. The other two wards are backward areas of Bahawalpur. These two wards lack basic facilities like health centres, sewerage, roads, paved streets and schools.
In Ward 1, PML-N is divided in two groups; one is supporting the party ticket holder Shahab Saqib Rehmani and the other is supporting Rehan bin Javed.
Wards 2 and 3 consist of several villages. The voters are expected to vote along tribal lines. Bhatti, Malik, Channar, Sial, Chohan, Rajpoot, Panwar, Baloch and Mewati are major tribes of the area. Populations of these wards are also divided along linguistic lines.
In Ward 2, stiff competition is expected between Muhammad Sadiq, an independent candidate and Mehboob Ahmed. Sadiq has served as councillor from the ward for several terms. Muhammad Sial is another heavyweight of Ward 3 because his family has great influence in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2015.
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