Larkana alliance set to challenge PPP in its stronghold | Pakistan Today

Larkana alliance set to challenge PPP in its stronghold

–Larkana Awami Ittehad brings all anti-PPP forces at single platform

–GDA, MMA, PTI and other smaller groups back Larkana alliance candidates

KARACHI: After poor governance and alleged massive corruption across the province, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is likely to face a stiff competition in its stronghold and home district – Larkana – by the anti-PPP alliance namely Larkana Awami Ittehad in the upcoming polls, it has emerged.

The political dynamics of the Larkana district, which has remained a winning district for the PPP since past few decades, has now changed as the PPP miserably failed to perform in the district in terms of infrastructure development, provision of basic facilities like health and education etc.

Now, an anti-PPP alliance – Larkana Awami Ittehad – formed by PPP stalwarts Haji Munawar Abbasi, Safdar Abbasi and Naheed Abbasi has brought all the rival forces together at one platform to defeat the PPP in the 2018 elections.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari is contesting from NA 200 (Larkana-II), a constituency where the PPP has remained undefeatable since 1970. Former prime minister and founding head of the PPP, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who is Bilawal’s maternal grandfather, was elected twice from this constituency – in 1970 and 1977 – when it was NA-163.

Bilawal’s grandmother Begum Nusrat Bhutto was also elected four times from the same seat, which was renamed to NA-164 from 1988 to 1997 elections. The PPP’s candidates retained the seat in the three general elections from 2002 to 2013 with late Mohammad Ayaz Soomro being the last MNA, when this constituency was called NA-204.

Bilawal’s mother, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was also elected from this seat in Larkana four times from 1988 to 1997. “We hope that like his grandfather, grandmother and mother, Bilawal will also get elected from this seat and lead the country,” PPP Sindh chapter president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro told Pakistan Today.

However, this time, Bilawal will be facing stiff competition from his competitor Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, central leader of Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Islam-F and son of former Senator Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro. Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro is contesting the elections as a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, having the full support of Larkana Awami Ittehad, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and have the backing of several other groups.

GDA, MMA, PTI BACKING:

PPP’s Sindh chapter President Nisar Khuhro’s daughter Nida Khuhro is contesting election for PS-11 as her father got disqualified for providing wrong information to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Moazzam Abbasi, son of Haji Munawar Abbasi, will give tough time to PPP’s Nida Khuhro. He is the man who objected nomination of Nisar Khuhro and have full support of GDA, MMA, PTI and other smaller groups.

PPP’s candidate for PS-10 (Larkana-I) will be facing strong competition by PTI’s Ameer Bux Bhutto, son of Sardar Mumtaz Bhutto, on the said constituency.

While PPP’s Sohail Anwar Siyal will have one-on-one competition with GDA candidate Sohail Akbar Shah Rashidi on PS-12 (Larkana-III). His wife and candidate of the PML-F Mehtab Akbar Rashdi got 32,006 votes in 2013 against 50,128 votes of PPP’s nominated Ayaz Soomro (late).

PPP’s Khursheed Junejo will also face tough competition against PTI candidate Allah Bux Unnar, having the support of the GDA, Larkana Awami Ittehad, smaller political and nationalist groups.

Interestingly, the PPP has fielded Hizbullah Bughio as candidate for PS-13 while sidelining Aziz Jatoi who announced parting ways with the PPP. Hizbullah Bughio will face strong resistance from an independent candidate Ustad Liaquat Mirani and by DGA’s candidate Aadil Altaf Unnar and PTI’s Shafqat Unnar on the same constituency.

Larkana Awami Ittehad leader Moazzam Abbasi told Pakistan Today that the citizens of Larkana have faced serious miseries in the tenure of PPP as their genuine issues remained unresolved since the past couple of years. “We are hopeful to have one-on-one competition with these corrupt mafia in the upcoming elections,” he added.

While talking to Pakistan Today, MMA candidate for NA-200 Rashid Mehmood Soomro said that all the opposition parties were united against the PPP. In 2013 elections, the opposition votes were divided that resulted in victory of the PPP in past elections.

“The biggest union council of Larkana district with a total population of 40,000 falls under the UC-2 where JUI-F got elected its chairman. If only voters of my UC come out and vote for me then Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will get no votes in the elections,” he said.

Informing about the past experiences, JUI-F leader said last year Ameer Bux Bhutto got around 33,000 votes in PS-10 and Saifullah Abro got 11,000 votes but this time Saifullah Abro is supporting Ameer Bux Bhutto and the JUI-F will also persuade voters to cast their vote for Ameer Bux Bhutto.

Moazzam Abbasi got over 36,000 votes last year and this time the JUI-F and MMA votes will also go to them which will ensure their victory in the upcoming elections, Rashid Mehmood Soomro added.

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.



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