Mardan all set to witness tight electoral battle on three national assembly seats

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PESHAWAR, Jul 15 (APP):The political fertile Mardan district is all set to witness tough electoral battle among political heavyweights of mainstream parties on three national assembly constituencies on July 25, 2018.
As only nine days are left in general elections, political heavyweights accelerated campaign in Mardan where tough election battle is expected among former Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti of ANP, ex Education Minister Atif Khan of PTI, former Federal Minister Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti of PPPP, Ali Muhammad Khan of PTI and Maluana Muhammad Qasim of MMA, who are contesting on three different constituencies in Mardan.
A visit to NA-20, NA-21 and NA 22 Mardan by this scribe revealed that former Federal Minister Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti of PPPP and former MNA Mujahid Khan of PTI are in loggerhead on NA-20 Mardan-I.
Mujahid Khan had defeated political rivals during 2013 general election and comfortably won this constituency after securing 38,233 votes against runner up former PPP KP President Khanzada Khan with 26928 votes.
In 2008 election, PPPP former Provincial President Khanzada Khan had won it with 20896 votes against MMA’s Tajuk Amin Jabbal 18155 votes.
MMA Maulana Attaur Rehman has won it in 2002 election after securing 51,918 votes against ANP’s Habibullah Khan 14462 votes.
The others candidates, who are trying their luck include Akhtar Nawaz (PMLN), Gul Nawaz Khan (ANP) and Attaur Rehman of MMA. The constituency was formerly known as NA-11 (Mardan-III) from 1977 to 2018 and was later changed to NA-20 (Mardan-I) after the delimitation in 2018.
Similarly, very close fight is expected former CM KP Amir Haider Khan Hoti of ANP, former Education Minister Atif Khan of PTI and former MNA Shujaul Mulk of MMA on NA-21 Mardan-II.
Haider Hoti is being considered a strong candidate.
He made political debut in 2002 election from a provincial constituency but could not make it to the provincial legislature.
However, in 2008 election Hoti managed to reach the office of chief minister by making a coalition government with PPP and successfully ruled the province till 2013.
In 2013, Haider Hoti, who had five years government at his back, had a very narrow escape to secure his home constituency NA-21 (former NA-9) at the hands of PTI’s Nasir Khan Advocate. Hoti secured 44769 votes against Nasir Khan advocate with 42068 votes.
Atif Khan, a close aide of Imran Khan is posing serious challenge to Amir Haider Khan Hoti. He had served as education minister in the just concluded PTI government and remained undisputed and impartial in the PTI rank.
Maulana Shujul Mulk of MMA is also a strong candidate as he won this constituency in 2002 general election comfortably. Maulana had obtained 54479 votes whereas Abbas Sarfraz Khan secured just 15376 votes while the PPP’s candidate Murad Khan stood third by securing 5077 votes.
The registration of 83,536 new voters in the constituency would play a decisive role in the overall results of NA-21 Mardan-II. Other candidates in the run include Muhammad Said of Pakistan Freedom Movement and Mukhtair independent.
On NA 22-Mardan-II, Ali Muhammad Khan of PTI, Jamshed Khan of PMLN and Maulana Muhammad Qasim of MMA were considered to be strong candidates for this important constituency.
Former MPA Jamshed Khan and former MNA Maulana Qasim of MMA are posing serious challenge to Ali Muhammad Khan who won this constituency in 2013 general election after securing 46531 against runner up Maulana Qasim with 39269 votes.
In 2008 general election, Maulana Qasim again clinched victory after obtaining 29279 votes against PPPP’s Abdul Qadir Khan 23138 votes.
Maulana Qasim, who contested 2002 election on MMA ticket, had clinched victory on this constituency after securing 68726 votes against runner up Rahimdad Khan of PPP with 14541 votes.
The other candidates flexing muscle are of Malik Aman Khan of ANP, Ahsanullah of Tahrik Labaik Pakistan, Shoaib Alam Khan of PPPP and Azmat Ali PML-Z.
The election fever has reached to its peak in Mardan where all candidates expedited door-to-door campaign and addressing corner meetings to persuade voters in their favour ahead of July 25 polls.