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Maulana Fazal, Salim Saifullah eye on NA-27 Lakki Marwat

imageLAKKI MARWAT: All eyes on NA-27 Lakki Marwat where one-on-one electoral battle is expected between Chief of Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI-F) Maualana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N leader and former Federal Minister, Salim Saifullah Khan as the supporters of both stalwarts strive to attract silent voters and strong communities in favor of their leaders.

As only eight days remaining in the general election 2013, the supporters of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Salim Saifullah Khan expedited election campaign in order to muster public support for their leaders to conquer this lone constituency of Lakki Marwat. Political observers said Maulana Fazalur Rehman was posing serious challenge to Salim Saifullah Khan, who is also backed by PPP, Samiul Haq and JUI-Noorani in his native district. Pakistan Muslim League and JUI-F are the two prominent political forces in the constituency and mostly NA-27 was won in the past by these parties' affiliated candidates. MMA candidate had won this constituency in last election that was later recaptured by PML-Q in 2008 election. In 2002 elections, MMA candidate Maulana Aman Ullah Khan of JUI-F had won this constituency by securing 65938 votes against Anwar Saifullah Khan of PML-Q 41171 votes.

Whereas, in 2008 elections, Hamayun Saifullah Khan who contested election on PML-Q ticket was the winner, obtaining 61303 votes against Dr. Khalid Raza Peer Zakori Sharif of MMA 52315 votes, Khan Bahader Marwat Independent 5949 votes and Hamid Ullah Khan (ANP) secured only 1597 votes.

Political observers said daunting task was ahead for influential Saifullah brothers to retain their seat as JUI-F candidates is giving tough time to them.

Political analysts said it seems very difficult for PTI candidate Col (R) Ameerullah Khan Marawat to make an upset from NA 27 constituency despite the support of youth because the constituency is mostly comprises on rural area with very low literacy rate.

PTI has yet to establish its strong political base in the local politics and will take time to strengthen its roots among masses to challenge influential Saifullah brothers and JUI-F in Lakki Marwat.

The JUI-F has also awarded party tickets to strong candidates for three provincial assembly seats to challenge KP PPP President Anwar Saifullah Khan and PML-N leader Akhtar Munir Marwat. Anwar Saifullah Khan who had won from PK-74 and PK-75 in last election will again try his luck from these two constituencies while PML-N candidate Akhtar Munir Marwat is fighting from PK-76 who is enjoying the support of Saifullah brothers.

They will face JUI-F aspirants including Anwar Hayat Khan on Pk-74, Malik Noor Saleem Khan on PK-75 and Munawar Khan on PK-76.

Some independent candidates are among the strong contestants and can make surprise by impact on election results. Gul Aslam Khan Begukhel and Hidayatullah Khan of Achu tribe, Johar Muhammad Khan of Aba Shaheedkhel group and engineer Arifullah Khan of PTI are fighting for the seat of PK 76.

The aspirants of two major political groups including JUI-F and influential Saifullahs are eying to get the support of local elders, prominent clerics and former representatives of local government to secure victory.

Meanwhile, the candidates' supporters have started door to door campaign to persuade voters in their favour. Electioneering has gained momentum here and candidates are addressing corner and public meetings in Lakki Marwat.

The supporters of the candidates have hoisted party flags in their houses and vehicles showing people keen interest in elections 2013.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013


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