LAHORE: Polling for a momentous by-election in the National Assembly seat (NA-120) vacated after the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is underway with a tough contest between the PML-N’s candidate Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and PTI’s Dr Yasmeen Rashid.
The NA-120 by-election has been dubbed as of paramount significance by political analysts for it was the very constituency that elected Nawaz Sharif before he was sent packing by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has retained this seat since 1985 either by electing Sharif or any other nominated leader of the party during his exile.
However, this time around, the PML-N might not maintain its hold in the constituency of a voter population of 321,786 after the lifelong disqualification of the party head in the wake of damning disclosures of the Supreme Court-sanctioned Panama joint investigation team report about the ruling family.
The NA-120 constituency earlier comprised the areas of Multan before delimitation was carried out during the regime of former military ruler retired Gen Pervaiz Musharraf in 2002 and this constituency was formed from the merger of two Lahore’s constituencies – NA-96 and 97, which used to be political stronghold of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from 1970 till 1985.
Sharif was first elected by this constituency during elections in 1985 held under Gen Zial ul Haq. Benazir Bhutto had boycotted the elections.
The constituency comprises the Lahore’s areas, including Islampura, Bilal, Gunj, Raj Garh, Riwaz Garden, Sanat Nagar, Ram Nagar, Dave Samaj Road, Sham Nagar, Sanda, Civil Secretariat, Prem Nagar, Momin Pura Kasurpura, Sanda, Muzang, Kareem Park , Chauburji, Khokhar Town and other areas.
2013 GENERAL ELECTIONS
Then PML-N chief, Nawaz Sharif secured 91,666 votes and beat rival PTI candidate Dr. Yasmeen Rashid by at least 39000 votes, a huge margin.
PPP’s Zubair Kardar could only manage to get 2604 votes from the constituency.
2008 GENERAL ELECTIONS
PML-N’s Bilal Yaseen secured victory by getting 65,946 votes, PPP’s Jahangir Badar was the second in line with 24,380 votes. PML-Q, then considered a strong party could only manage to get 4,270 votes.
2002 GENERAL ELECTIONS
PML-N’s Muhammed Pervaiz Malik won this seat with 33,741 votes followed by PPP’s Altaf Qureshi’s 19483 votes while PML-Q’s Mian Muhammad Ashraf secured only 15085 votes.