LAHORE: Only a few days remain before PML-N and PTI lock horns for the coveted NA-120 seat. In order to gauge which party has the upper hand in the battle for the constituency, it's imperative to take into account important history pertaining to NA-120.
The constituency has been a PML-N stronghold since 1985 when Nawaz Sharif won it but then chose to vacate it as he opted for the post of Punjab Chief Minister.
Fast forward to 2002 and you have a beleaguered PML-N marred by desertions and with the senior leadership languishing in exile. However, that also did not stop voters from electing PML-N’s Pervez Malik in the general elections that otherwise saw PML-Q hold sway in Punjab.
Same was the case in 2008 when Kulsoom Nawaz's nephew Bilal Yasin won the elections with a rejuvenated PML-N, as the Sharifs once again formed their government in Punjab.
Nawaz Sharif once again won NA-120 from Lahore in the last general elections, securing more than 91,600 votes. The tally set a clear margin of victory against Dr Yasmin Rashid, who polled 52,354 votes.
There are more than 321,000 registered voters in the constituency which also includes areas such as Sant Nagar, Krishan Nagar, Mohni Road, Sanda, Hall Road, Anarkali, Beadon Road, Nisbat Road, Laxmi Chowk, Mozang and Temple Road.
However, political analysts are of the view that an upset could be on the cards this time since former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's disqualification may have dismayed a large chunk of his voters.
With Kulsoom Nawaz out of the picture owing to her illness, it is up to her daughter Maryam to rally voters for PML-N's cause. Dr Yasmin did give Nawaz Sharif a run for his money in the last election but PML-N certainly has the upper hand as far as NA-120 is concerned.
Published in Pakistan
Story first published: 14th September 2017