Constituency NA 249: Bat, Lion, and Arrow face to face


By Fahmidah Yousfi

Total Voters: 339,935; Male Voters 211,656; Female Voters 137,935.

These are the voter statistics of the NA-249 constituency of Karachi where by-election is being held today on the seat vacated by the resignation of PTI leader Faisal Vawda.

All eyes are on this by-election in Karachi where 30 candidates are contesting for the vacated seat. A total of 276 polling stations have been set up for the election comprising of 796 polling booths. The Election Commission has deployed more than 2,100 election staff.

According to Election Commissioner Karachi Syed Nadeem Haider, 209 polling stations in the constituency have been declared sensitive and 67 highly sensitive. He further said that CCTV cameras have also been installed in the most sensitive polling stations. Referring to the arrangements, the Election Commissioner Karachi said that the patrolling of Rangers and police would continue in the constituency with more than 2800 police and 1100 Rangers personnel. Will be in charge of security.

Leading candidates in this constituency include Amjad Iqbal Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Miftah Ismail of PML-N, Qadir Khan Mandokhel of PPP, Mustafa Kamal of PSP and Hafiz Muhammad Mursalin of MQM Pakistan.

On the other hand, the traditional rival parties continue to use harsh words and accusations against each other.

Former Prime Minister and PML-N central leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Miftah Ismail’s victory in NA-249 is certain.

We will not allow a situation like Daska to arise here. If an attempt is made to commit fraud, the results will not be good for Pakistan and Karachi.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani has said that it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to impose duties there during the elections and it is doing its job while alleging that an employee of the Education Department or any other department has been imposed on duty. I not only deny it but strongly condemn it.

PSP Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said that Allah has given the people of NA-249 an opportunity to give up all their work today and change the unpleasant situation in their lives and the lives of their children on a daily basis. The people of NA-249 should come out in large numbers today and seal the dolphin to alleviate the worries for themselves and future generations.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Khurram Sher Zaman has said that NA-249 will be called again today. Amjad Iqbal Afridi campaigned vigorously and the people of the constituency came out of their houses and exercised their right to vote because the people are facing difficulties.

The focus is on NA-249 as today’s by-election will also determine the direction of the parties in Karachi politics. Interestingly, it is also very important for the PTI, the party representing the federal government, and the PPP in the provincial government. If Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) can maintain its 2018 victory in the by-elections, then the claim that change has taken place will be proved true, but if the fears of experts are proved true, then the politics of PTI in Karachi will suffer a severe blow. After losing the seat, the PTI will be branded as unpopular in Karachi. In the by-elections, however, another defeat will be added.

It will also be interesting to see how the PPP candidate in the provincial government performs here because traditionally NA-249 has not been a single party’s seat. The party won twice, the PML-N twice, the MQM twice and the PTI once.

While it remains to be seen what the candidate PSP chief Mustafa Kamal will do from here. While the victory of PML-N will ignite his statement that the 2018 elections were rigged.

However, there is no denying the fact that the results of this constituency will cause a great stir not only at the provincial level but also in national politics.