Polling for the by-election in the NA-249 constituency of the National Assembly in Karachi, the country’s largest city, will be held on Thursday.
The constituency was vacated due to the resignation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) National Assembly member and Federal Minister Faisal Vawda after he became a senator.
For the, 30 candidates are contesting from different political parties including Miftah Ismail of PML-N, Syed Mustafa Kamal of Pak Sarzamin Party (PSP), Amjad Iqbal Afridi of PTI, Hafiz Mursalin Muttahida Qaumi Movement, while Mufti Nazir Kamalvi of the recently banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik and Qadir Khan Mando Khel of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
In the 2018 general elections, PTI candidate Faisal Vawda won the NA-249 seat with 35,349 votes, while PML-N central president Mian Shahbaz Sharif was second with 34,626 votes. The difference between the two candidates was only 723 votes.
Other candidates include Mufti Abid Hussain of the banned TLP with 23,981 votes, Aslam Shah of the MQM with 13,534 votes, Syed Ataullah Shah of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal with 10,307 votes and Qadir Khan Mandokhel of the PPP 7,236 votes and Dr Fauzia Hameed of PSP got 1,617 votes.
Earlier, Salman Mujahid Baloch of MQM and Abdul Qadir Patel of PPP had won the 2013 general elections from this area.
This constituency includes Baldia Town, Saeedabad, Rashidabad, Afridi Colony, Ittehad Town, Mominabad, Mujahid Colony, Islamnagar, Khyber Colony, Muslim Mujahid Colony, Gujarat Colony, Gulshan Ghazi and other areas.
Nothing can be said with certainty because of the residents of different ethnicities, the situation looks very complicated. However, after winning the by-elections in Daska, the PML-N’s morale looks quite high and the party’s candidate Miftah Ismail has run a full-fledged election campaign. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) has announced its support for the PML-N candidate this time and similarly Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal has announced its support for the PPP candidate.
On the other hand, the entry of Pak Sarzamin Party chairman and former mayor of Karachi Mustafa Kamal in the election arena could not be ignored, as he had the vote bank of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
Although the PTI candidate Amjad Shah Afridi has also campaigned hard, a large number of people in the constituency are not happy with the performance of the ruling PPP in the province and the ruling PTI in the federation. While the recently banned TLP still has influence in the constituency, which has increased in recent times.
Candidates contesting from the constituency say that they will do their best to solve the most important problem of the constituency.
Water theft, sewerage problems and poor road conditions are major problems in the constituency.
In the absence of a weak local body and elected local government leadership, a large number of citizens expect a solution to such problems from the representatives in the constituencies of the National and Provincial Assemblies.
According to some observers, the MQM will also try its best to prevent the success of PSP candidate Mustafa Kamal in any case, as his victory could be a major blow to the MQM in the future. Which will directly benefit the PML-N or the PTI. For this, the MQM has also run its election campaign with great enthusiasm.