PTI fails to dent PML-N’s fortress Punjab in cantonment board elections 

Hassan Naqvi Staff Reporter

17th Sep, 2021. 05:04 pm

APP65-120921 LAHORE: September 12 – Voters coming out of a polling station after casting their vote in Saddar during the Elections in 41 cantonment boards take place with 1,560 candidates contesting in 206 wards across Pakistan. APP photo by Rana Imran

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) emerged victorious in the cantonment board elections across the country, but it has failed to make a dent in arch-rival PML-N’s fortress Punjab.

As per the unofficial results of Punjab’s 113 wards, PML-N had emerged as the largest party by winning 51 seats, followed by PTI with 28 seats and independent candidates managed to grab 32 seats.

According to PTI sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan was annoyed by his party’s dismal performance in Punjab.

The premier has asked chief coordinator Saifullah Niazi, Amir Dogar and PTI Punjab president Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry for an analytical report on the results to determine the real reason behind a drop in PTI’s vote bank.

They claimed that the premier had sought details of poll results in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Peshawar.

“PTI had managed to secure fewer seats in Punjab. It is due to the selection of candidates or due to party’s performance or policies we need to investigate this,” the PM told the PTI leaders, sources told Bol News.

According to party insiders, Ejaz Chaudhry has already submitted an analytical report for Lahore.

PML-N sweeps Lahore

In Lahore, PML-N has emerged as the major party with 19 seats while two three seats each were grabbed by the PTI and independent candidates.

The unofficial results showed PML-N’s Ali Hassan Abbas as winner from Lahore Cantonment Board (LCB) ward-1 with 1,312 votes.

In LCB ward-2, PML-N’s Rizwan Shafqat emerged victorious with 5,034 votes. While ward-3 was won by PTI’s Rasheed Ahmad with 2,629 votes.

Rana Asif Ali, from PML-N, had managed to win ward-4 by securing 1,594 votes. While independent candidate Col (retd) Akbar Butt emerged as the victor from ward-5 with 559 votes. From LCB ward-6 PTI’s Umar Talib emerged victorious by grabbing 2,150 votes.

PML-N’s candidates Mian Babar Ashraf, Naeem Shahzad, Mohammad Waqas Aslam and Mohammad Jaffar had managed to secure LCB ward-7, ward-8, ward-9 and ward-10 by grabbing 2,632 votes, 3,598 votes, 3,508 votes and 2,703 votes respectively.

Similar pattern was observed in Lahore’s Walton Cantonment Board (WCB) where PML-N had secured a majority of seats.

Chaudhry Ashfaq Ahmad of PML-N had managed to win ward-1 by securing 4,096 votes. WCB ward-2 was bagged by PML-N’s Mohammad Hanif who had managed to get 4,331 votes. In WCB ward-3 PML-N’s Chaudhry Mohammad Sharif emerged victorious with 5,470 votes.

WCB ward-5 also belonged to PML-N as Raja Noor Rabbani emerged victorious by securing 1,850 votes. WCB ward-6 was also secured by PML-N’s Nouman Naeem with 4,373 votes.

The polls were postponed in WCB ward-7 due to the death of independent candidate Sadaqat Mehmood Butt.

WCB ward-9 and ward-10 were also secured by PML-N’s candidates Karamat Ali and Munir Hussain as they bagged 5,058 and 5,973 votes, respectively.

In Lahore, all the major parties had nominated their candidates for the 20 seats that were up for grab.

A total of 268 candidates participated in the election out of which 110 contested for the 10 seats of Lahore Cantt and 158 contested on the seats of Walton Cantt.

Independents dominate Multan

In one of the biggest upsets, nine independent candidates and one PML-N candidate had managed to win the Multan Cantonment Board elections (CBM).

In CBM ward-1 independent candidate Rana Mohammad Ashraf emerged victorious by bagging 719 votes. In CBM ward-2 independent candidate Ghulam Jilani Sheikh emerged victorious by grabbing 158 votes. PML-N’s candidate Akhtar Rasool Fareedi emerged victorious from CBM ward-3 by securing 321 votes.

In CBM ward-4, independent candidate Sheikh Abdul Waheed emerged victorious by grabbing 929 votes. In CBM ward-5, independent candidate Malik Bilal managed to secure victory by grabbing 1,229 votes.

In CBM ward-6, independent candidate Sana Akbar won the elections by grabbing 542 votes. Independent candidate Shamshad Ali emerged victorious from CBM ward-7 by grabbing 397 votes.

In CBM ward-8, ward-9 and ward-10 independent candidates Mohammad Yaqoob Nasir, Mohammad Sadiq Zaeem and Khurshid Ahmed Khan secured victories by grabbing 64 votes, 121 votes and 163 votes, respectively.

PTI on top in countrywide results

PTI emerged as the ultimate winner in cantonment board elections held across the country by grabbing 63 seats, followed by PML-N which had managed to secure 59 seats. Independent candidates had managed to win 52 seats.

Amongst the other opposition parties, PPP secured 17 seats, Jamaat-i-Islami seven and Awami National Party two seats. In PTI’s allied parties, MQM-P managed to secure 10 seats whereas, Balochistan Awami Party secured two seats.

Soon after the elections, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif claimed that voters had rejected the Imran Khan-led PTI government in the cantonment board elections held across the country on Sept 12.

“I am grateful to Allah that PML-N candidates had swept cantonment polls in Punjab but rigging took place in these elections as government machinery was used in favour of PTI candidates,” he alleged.

He concluded that the poor masses are suffering as a result of the policies of the government.

“One wonders who could vote for such a party which has brought misery to the masses. PML-N has been vindicated in these elections,” he said.

Speaking about the importance of local bodies system and elections, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that local bodies system provides facilities to the masses at their doorsteps.

The PML-Q leader stated the system can provide the best services for the welfare and well-being of the people, through the common efforts of his party and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Talking to Bol News, political analyst and an expert on local bodies’ elections, Salman Abid said that as a whole PTI had a political victory against its rivals in the cantonment elections.

“As per past practices the independent candidates are likely to join the ruling party due to which the number of seats of PTI will increase,” he predicted.

For Abid, the million-dollar question for PTI and its leadership is that they had failed to make inroads into Punjab which is considered to be the fort of PML-N. He added that the Shehbaz Sharif-led party had managed to win Punjab once again despite the difficult situation especially in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.

“Defeats in Rawalpindi and Lahore are a test case for PTI to brainstorm, think and learn where they had made mistakes,” Abid said.

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