WAH CANTT, July 12 (APP):The two political arch rivals -former minister for interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and PTI Vice President Ghulam Sarwar Khan have intensified the electioneering campaign in twin cities of Taxila and Wah in connection with their last ditch efforts to convince masses to vote for them on the polling day, July 25.
Both the leaders are in a do-or-die situation these days because the polls’ result will decide their political future. They are in marathon of holding public meetings almost at every nook and cranny of the constituency to show their strength and drum up masses for their support.
Electioneering is at its climax and they are trying their hardest to shift loyalties of important tribe (baradari) elders inot their favours.
According to some local political pundits, though PML-N, MMA, TLP, PPP and independent candidates are also contesting the elections, however, the real contest will be between the bat and Jeep for two provincial assembly seat in Rawalpindi-IV PP-19 (Taxila), PP-20 (Wah) and national assembly
The two powerful arch rivals are locked in an intense neck and neck electoral battle.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan, who started his political career with the PPP, joined the PML-Q after
winning the 2002 elections as an independent candidate. He is now the standard bearer of Imran Khan in the Taxila city.
He is faced-off with none other than Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, former interior minister and one of the PML-N stalwarts. Chaudhry Nisar has had won this seat in 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2008, elections.
Sarwar only managed to defeat his arch rival in 2002 and 2013 elections, however, remained in close fight during all these elections.
Vote difference between the two had varied between 10,000 and 20,000. However, with the rising of the PTI popularity and having his own solid vote bank in the constituency, Ghulam Sarwar camp this time is confident to beat Chaudhry Nisar.
Chaudhry Nisar despite saying goodbye to PML-N political battleship presently enjoying a strong political position and has a good following among major families in the area. The mega projects
especially Wah General Hospital, he completed recently could further boost his vote bank.
On the other hand, Sarwar Khan represents the Khattar clan in Pind Nousheri, which is very influential in Taxila and Chakri. The constituency, consisting of the semi-hilly and plain areas of Taxila and Wah has its geo-political significance as on the one side it has Taxila city with its eight union councils in the `constituency and on the other there is Dhumial, near Rawalpindi Cantonment which are
rural and where family affiliations effect voter decisions.
This constituency, which is inhabited by Rajput, Khattar, Kashmiri, Syed and Gujjar families, is part of the Potohar region which traditionally follows the elections trends of Potohar region.
It has observed that during the humid and hot days of July, political temperature in the historical city of Taxila is rising with each passing day like temperature high as political rivals are flexing their
muscles for the upcoming general elections.
Candidates have steamed up their electioneering and electoral hustles, bustles are getting momentum as the polls coming closer. Despite harsh and unpleasant weather, contrary to other cities of the country, electioneering is at its peak with the presence of political heavy weights as independent as well as contenders of different political parties have exhilarated their efforts to bag maximum seats.
A hectic election campaign is underway for the one national and two provincial assembly seats. The candidates are using all available tactics during their campaigns to seek votes from the residents of their respective constituencies.
The electioneering continues across the city until late at night. Interestingly, the war of words is also at its peak in this constituency as Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Ghulam Sarwar Khan are leveling serious allegations against each other.
The contenders, candidates of various political parties and their supporters are using banners and posters to publicize their slogans, flags, manifestos and sentiments.
In rural and urban areas of Taxila, corner meetings, political camps and rallies mark the onset of what is billed as the historic general elections that feature the voter’s participation and interest in the polls.
Portraits and stickers of different political leaders particularly Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz
Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Imran Khan, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Haji Umer Farooq, Ghulam Sarwar Khan and leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami Siraj Ul Haq, Prof Waqas Khan and Safeer Alam have also been displayed at almost every nook and corner of the Taxila and Wah along with the flags of different political parties.
Attractive messages based on political activities are being circulated to gain maximum support of the people. Different candidates and their supporters have also hired the services of information technology (IT) experts with an aim to convey their messages to a large number of voters.
The results of the elections can be hard to predict as family and tribal affiliations can play an important role in the rural areas but the past election history and the prevailing conditions are favoring PTI.
Chaudhry Nisar group might just regain its political battle ground after a close contest on July 25.