Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Abdul Rehman Kanju and leader Siddique Khan Baloch are campaigning against their own party candidate Nazir Ahmed Baloch in the PP-228 Lodhran by-poll, scheduled to be held on July 17.
The ruling party has allotted the ticket to Nazir, PTI has fielded Captain (retired) Javed Khan while Rafi Uddin Bukhari will contest in the polls as an independent candidate.
In a rather interesting turn of events, PML-N leaders Kanju and Siddique are throwing their support behind independent candidate Bukhari, who was refused a PML-N ticket.
Bukhari was the PML-N candidate from PP-228 in 2018 but lost to Nazir Baloch by over 3,000 votes. He has announced that if he wins the by-election, the seat belongs to PML-N.
On the other hand, Nazir has the full support of wealthy businessman Jahangir Khan Tareen.
In the constituency, where lack of educational facilities for women and girls is a big issue, voters vote largely on the basis of personalities and clans and not on the basis of political parties.
It merits mentioning here that 20 Punjab seats are currently on the ballot after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) unseated 25 provincial lawmakers for voting against party lines during the recent election for the province’s chief minister.