Apr 252013

Friday, April 26, 2013
From Print Edition

Rana Iqbal faces tough time from PTI, PML-Q in PP-184


From Our Correspondent


KASUR: A tough competition is likely among Punjab Assembly former speaker Rana Iqbal Khan of the PML-N, his cousin Rana Aslam of the PTI and Mumtaz Khalid Bhatti of the PML-Q in PP-184.


Rana Iqbal is facing the anger of his voters and supporters who played a vital role in his victory in the 2008 elections. Voters say Rana Iqbal had totally ignored them and given no time to his constituency. They allege that Rana Iqbal had taken revenge from his political opponents by implicating them in fake criminal cases. They also allege that hundreds of cases were registered against the opponents of Rana Iqbal and even local journalists were victimised as Rao Faqir Muhammad died in jail, Rana Dilshad faced about 10 cases of dacoity and attempt to murder cases, Amjad Bhatti faced kidnap-for-ransom and dacoity cases, Malik Abdur Razzaq and Muhammad Latif faced criminal cases and Rana Kashif Shaukat faced a dacoity case while Hafeez Asim was involved in theft cases for carrying stories against him.


On the other hand, a rift between Rana Iqbal and his cousin and former district nazim Rana Hayat Khan, who is contesting the elections on the PML-N ticket in NA-142, is now an open secret. This factor has weakened the position of Rana Iqbal Khan in PP-184. It is important to note that Rana Iqbal has the 20-vehicle motorcade to impress the voters, while he had no luxury vehicles during the last elections.


PTI’s Rana Aslam is contesting the polls first time, while his brother Rana Sarfraz Khan had defeated Rana Iqbal on the PML-Q ticket in 2002. The Rana Aslam family remained loyal with to the PML-Q till 2011, but later it joined the PTI. His brother was the district nazim, while another brother was an MPA during the Q-League tenure.


Mumtaz Khalid Bhatti having no political background is a new face. He was introduced to politics by Rana Hayat Khan in 2001 and he was elected Phoolnagar City UC No 2 nazim. Now he is against the Rana family and has joined Sardar Talib Nakai Group. He has been awarded the PML-Q ticket along with Sardar Talib Nakai who is the party candidate from NA-142. Mumtaz Khalid Bhatti enjoys the support of his biradari as well as Jatt, Sheikh and Malik families. A majority of voters belong to these clans and have welcomed his decision to contest the polls. On the other hand, PPP former ticket-holder Humayun Majeed, who is also the PTI founder worker, has left the party over the ticket issue and joined Mumtaz Khalid Bhatti. This factor has strengthened Mumtaz Khalid’s position in the constituency.


Meanwhile in NA-140, PTI’s Mian Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Dr Azeemuddin Lakhvi of the PML-Q and Malik Rasheed Ahmad of the PML-N are running their campaign vigorously. However, people are still apathetic to the electioneering and only a few supporters could be seen in the public meetings.


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