Election activities in Swat gain momentum

MINGORA: With each day drawing near to the much-hyped local bodies polls, election activities are gaining momentum in Swat. Political parties are busy through corner meetings to chalk out comprehensive programs to flood the cities with banners and posters hung on electricity poles on the median of the roads and trees and to paste the stickers and portraits of leaders belonging to various political parties on the walls in market places and residential areas. The parties have also started introducing their candidates to public by naming various projects to their efforts.

However, there seems visible internal wrangling along the party lines regarding the likelihood of candidature for the election due to the fact that although the elections at the village council level will be held on non-party basis, but at the union council level the political parties will have to bring forth their candidates.

Hence, it will be a tough task for the political parties to choose candidates for the elections because of the reason that every party has some prominent figures its circles, who want to contest the polls. Besides, there is also the possibility of making alliances among the political parties for strong position during the polls. For this purpose, every party will have to sacrifice their candidates in various union councils, which will be a difficult job to persuade them to be a scapegoat in the elections in favour of other party.

In such case the annoyed employees may be inclined to stand on non-party basis in the elections to spoil the vote bank of their respective parties. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has already such differences visible along party lines. There are many groups exists within the party circle. Each of them wants to contest the election.

If allowed, the electioneering process will become a fun, particularly for the youngsters who spend restless days and sleepless nights to run their election campaigns using public forums during the day and social media at night to upload messages for their campaigns.

Therefore, if the provincial leadership of the PTI imposes its will on such candidates, they will hardly be willing to sacrifice their vote bank in the larger interest of the party. And in case the party holds alliance with its former ally Jamat-e-Islami (JI), there can perhaps be worth seeing events to follow for the candidates unwilling for further sacrifice for the party cause in future. The other prediction is that the Jamat-e-Islami will be looking for some vibrant choice, keeping in view the past experience, during which the party had to go through some bad adventures with its alliances. Therefore, the most desirable alternative for the party would be the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), which seems to be the best choice to the party at the present time.

And in case the JI makes alliance with PML-N. There is also the possibility that the parties may further consider the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and other small political forces for bringing them under its fold.  Under such circumstances, the PTI will have to face tough opposition, keeping in view the entire scenario and performance of the party during its nearly two years tenure, which is generally viewed a blank period for the masses.

On the other hand the Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have decided to give a tough time to the ruling party of PTI. For which they have decided to fight the elections under the same symbol, in view of its intense political rivalry with the PTI, which led them locking horns with the party on many different occasions. In Swat ANP seems to be the biggest challenge for the ruling party. And if the ANP contests the election alone without making alliance with any other party, it may prove a game changer. However, if the ANP wants to make alliance with the other parties, the party would also have to give many sacrifices of candidates in different union councils. Yet, in the case of tripartite alliance, it might have a strong position in the district. In addition, it would have the benefit of winning the elections in the majority of the union councils. The same may prove to be a positive overture for the party and could be a big blow for the PTI. Moreover, in case the PTI decides to contest the election with its former ally JI and like the other parties contest the election under the same sign, the party might have comparatively a stronger position in the district of Swat by the highest mandate and potential vote bank of the party.

Whereas, the same may give interesting and worth seeing events to the people of Swat, with many thorny contests among the contesting coalitions during the elections. DNA

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