AJK Elections: Frenzied Three-way Contest Expected In District Kotli

By Muhammad Shafique Raja

AJK Elections: Frenzied three-way contest expected in district Kotli
By Muhammad Shafique Raja

KOTLI (Azad Kashmir) ,(Pakistan Point News - 20th july,2016): Unlike the past elections, a frenzied three-way contest is expected in most of the constituencies of District Kotli of AJK, which with 442,839 votes also tops AJK's all districts in number of the people who will exercise their right to vote on Thursday. The main stakeholders in the district's politics include the ruling pakistan People's Party Azad Kashmir, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Azad Kashmir and the coalition of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf Azad Kashmir and All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference.

Leaders and workers of all of these parties seem confident to win elections. Sitting at a PML-N office in Cherhoi Tehsil of District Kotli, which falls under the constituency LA-XI, KOTLI-IV, Raja Mazhar Pehlwan sounded confident to snatch back the seat from PPP stalwart and Senior Minister of AJK Chaudrhy Muhammad Yasin, saying that the defeat for the top PPP leader was in the offing. "A cleansing of the voters' list has been done.

There are no more bogus votes, so he is not going to win this time. Victory will be ours; I'm sure," Pehlwan, who has spent several sleepless nights due to electioneering told APP on Wednesday night just before the conclusion of election campaign. Chaudrhy Khadam Inaqalabi, who in the past was a staunch PPP supporter and close aide of Chaudhry Yasin but this decided to join PML-N while backing Pehwalan stated that the PPP government in AJK failed to deliver during its five-year tenure.

"They did not fulfill their promises. Everybody is suffering in our area. Our roads are in dilapidated conditions, hospitals are without medicines and doctors and schools are without basic facilities. So how will they win this time?" he asked. On Wednesday night, before the end of the election campaign as per AJK Election Commission's directions, activists of all parties were busy everywhere discussing the possible outcome of the elections, which will be 10th of the democratic tenure of the 49- seat Legislative Assembly in almost 46 years since 1970.

Their leaders were too seen claiming victories. Chaudhry Yasin, who had secured a sweeping victory in Pehlwan and Inqalabi's constituency in 2011 against his top opponent Raja Iqbal of PML-N, looked satisfied at a corner meeting. "I'm sure we'll once again emerge victorious and form government in AJK. We've delivered during the past five years," he claimed. Same sort of confidence was also reflecting in the speeches of Iqbal Hussain, who was found stating at various corner meetings: "I'm sure I will win this time.

Our people are sensible they are going to reject them," he asserted. On the other hand PTI's Shaukat Fareed also kept on avowing everywhere that his party would surprise all by winning elections. Tough contest is also expected among PML-N's Raja Nisar, PTI's Rafique Nayyer and PPP's Muhammad Matloob Inaqlabi in LA-XII, KOTLI- V. Ejaz Ahmed, an activist of PTI told this news agency that the real contest in this constituency would be between PTI and PML-N and they (PTI) had fielded a strong candidate.

A visit of many areas of the constituency revealed that many close friends and relatives of Inqalabi, who had won elections from here in 2011 have joined either PML-N or PTI and till Wednesday night he was making last-ditch efforts to win their support back. Inqalabi insisted that he would retain the seat as he had won it by a significant margin in last polls. The workers of PML-N here too were looking confident to get a thumping victory.

"The presence of Army on the polling day will ensure an atmosphere of free and fair elections. In last elections, PPP won the seat through rigging. But this time we will win as these will be held in a safe atmosphere," said Raja Aqeel, a close friend of Raja Nisar. In LA-X, KOTLI-III too a tough contest is likely to take place among Raja Naseer of PML-N, Chaudhry Akhlaq of PTI and Chaudhry Mazhar of PPP. Raja Naseer, who got elected from this constituency in 2011 as well as previous to that on a number of times, stated at a huge congregation in Sehnsa on Wednesday evening that he was going to retain the seat.

"The win will be ours, not only here but in the entire district and the entire State," he claimed. The PTI and PPP candidates from also claimed to clinch victories stating that their popularity was on the rise in the constituency. However, in LA-VIII, KOTLI-I, the real contest is expected between Muslim Conference's Malik Nawaz and PML-N's Malik Yousaf. Similarly, in LA-IX, KOTLI-II PML-N's Sardar Farooq Sikandar and PPP's Javed Iqbal Budhanvi are main contestants.