All set for NA-249 Karachi by election: Polling tomorrow

KARACHI All is set for election of NA-249 Karachi. The polling will be held tomorrow on Thrusday.

By election on a Karachi NA seat have become point of attention for people as well as politicians. Despite spike in coronavirus case by-polls on the NA-249 seat in Karachi will be held on April 29.

In all there are 32 candidates are in the run, including PML-N’s Miftah Ismail, Karachi’s former mayor Mustafa Kamal, Qadir Khan Mandokhel (PPP) and, Amjad Afridi (PTI).

Sindh government asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to postpone the polls, keeping in view the corona situation. However, PML-N and Pak Sarzameen Party opposed the postponement.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz was scheduled to led a rally and address a public meeting for her party’s candidate on April 24, but at the nick of time, she cancelled the programme due to spike in virus cases.

This seat was declared vacant when PTI’s Faisal Vawda resigned after voting in the Senate elections on March 3. He won the seat during the 2018 general election.

NA -249 constituency has some interesting fact. It has a population of 782,776 of which only 339,591, which means over 43% are registered to vote.  There are 216,056 male voters in the area, while the number of female voters is 137,935.

Peculiarities of constituency

NA-249 constituency of Karachi borders Balochistan and is exclusively composed of the entire Baldia Town, divided ethnically between Pashtun, Hazarewal (Hindko) Punjabis, Kashmiri and Urdu-speaking populated neighborhoods of Baloch and Sindhi. Some well-known areas in the constituency include Delhi Colony, Mujahid Colony, Baldia, and Saeedabad.

In the past, MQM has been winning this seat but due to subsequent delimitation and change in political landscape. It has been weakened by not much know candidate Muhammad Musleen.

2018 General elections

The last NA-249 election had been a close contest, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Faisal Vawda securing 35,344 votes to defeat the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s central leader and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, who had polled 34,626 votes.

But the TLP (now banned) candidate Abid Hussain secured 23981 votes and ranked third in the constituency during the last general elections. This religious political party also won one of the two PA seats falling under the National Assembly constituency.

Remaining polled votes were as under: Aslam Shah of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan 13534 votes, Qadir Khan Mandokhail of PPP 7236 votes, Syed Atta Ullah Shah of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan 10307.