LAHORE: Supporters of the PML-N seemed confident over the victory of Kulsoom Nawaz in the by-polls for NA-120, but others expected a tough competition.
At the same time, supporters of PTI were confident over the victory of their candidate Yasmin Rashid. Perhaps worryingly for the PML-N, some of its supporters were less than sure about their candidate’s victory. A number of them feared the results may prove to be a big setback for them, much like the US election outcome when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
On the other hand, PTI supporters termed the year 2017 as a game-changer, saying it would alter the fate of the nation, They pointed out that the country’s top court had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for concealing facts in the Panama papers case.
The ‘pundits’ of different areas of the constituency were also seen arguing over the potential results.
However, the majority were of the view that PML-N’s Kulsoom Nawaz will win the election regardless of the fact that the Supreme Court had disqualified her husband.
At the same time, some PML-N supporters were disappointed that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif never visited this constituency nor did he do anything to alleviate their miseries.
They said they will fight for a PML-N victory, but the possibility of an upset could not be ignored as the situation was different after the SC’s decision.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Umar Gujar, a PML-N supporter from Gawalmandi, said it was not a difficult task for them to win elections in the past. However, this time the situation is different and the party is making extra efforts for the election after the SC disqualified Nawaz Sharif.
He also conceded that PML-N could not meet the expectations of people and solve their basic issues like clean drinking water, sewerage and jobs etc.
Abdul Jabbar, a manual labourer, said his family had been supporters of PML-N for three generations.
This time, though, he seemed confused over who to vote for. He said Nawaz had promised to end load-shedding and terrorism during the elections in 2013, but he failed to do so.
Shehnaz Aslam, another supporter of PML-N, said their position was generally better than PTI’s. “However, after the Supreme Court decision, she said the chance of an upset could not be ignored.”
Aneela Sabir of PTI said the struggle of her party against corruption mafia would bear fruit when it wins the by-election. She seemed optimistic over the victory of her candidate, claiming Nawaz Sharif has been exposed to the nation and no one else, but the country’s top court, sent him packing.
Ahsan Butt, a supporter of PML-N, said that contesting of candidate of Milli Muslim League will also affect the vote bank of PML-N.
Khawaja Hassan, another political activist, said that door-to-door campaign and personalities of both candidates was going to affect election dynamics. Dr Yasmeen Rashid had been living in the area, working as a professional doctor and social activist. At the same time, Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of Nawaz Sharif and Kulsoom had been raising slogans for dynasty politics.
Yasmeen Rashid, in her campaign, spoke against dynastic politics and spoke of its effects on the voters’ minds.