ISLAMABAD: Infighting, family feuds and indecisiveness in ticket distribution in certain constituencies gave a shock to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the Thursday’s by-elections.
While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the single largest party in the Baluchistan Assembly as it clinched two more seats, internal bickering in Mianwali resulted in the loss of PTI chairman’s seat in his home constituency he had won in 2002 and 2013. He boycotted the 2008 elections.
The ganging up of major political forces, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and PML-N against the PTI led to the shock defeat of its weak and controversial nominee Gul Badshah in Peshawar. Such an alliance was natural given the lethal attack of the PTI chief on all parties.
The PML-N was likely to win the Islamabad seat, NA-48, but it goofed up in awarding ticket and its imprudent allocation brought defeat to it.
Although PML-N’s Anjum Aqeel lost the May election, he was considered a better bet this time. However, after he was refused ticket, he worked against his party candidate Ashraf Gujjar.
In May, Imran Khan had a lead of 66,032 votes over Awami National Party’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour in NA-1 Peshawar. He secured 90,500 votes against his rival’s 24,468. This time, Bilour won with a margin of 5,475 votes. He bagged 34,386 compared with PTI nominee Gul Badshah’s 28,911. The voter turnout was 22.96 per cent. In Mianwali’s NA-71 constituency, Khan had won the seat with 133,224 votes against Obaidullah Shadikhel’s 73,373. Now, Shadikhel secured 95,210 votes against 76,526 of PTI candidate Malik Waheed.