Voters in NA-249 poll preferred civic issues to political speech
Unlike the recent by-elections in Punjab which were dominated by political rhetoric, most voters in the NA-249 by-ballot in Karachi, held last Thursday, decided to focus on solving civic issues, especially procurement. in water.
Given the seriousness of civic issues and in particular the scarcity of water in various neighborhoods in the National Assembly constituency, ballot candidates from all political parties raised the issue of water, to which all residents have been facing for several decades, an important part of their election.
But being the ruling party of Sindh which also oversees the administration of the municipality and district, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) took full advantage of the opportunity and managed to improve its ranking of sixth position in the general election. from 2018 to the by-ballot victory of April 29. .
Pakistan’s Election Commission on Saturday accepted the recount request from Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Miftah Ismail and scheduled the hearing for May 4 (Tuesday).
Political analysts and locals alike associate the increase in PPP voices in NA-249 with local arrangements and promises made by party leaders with community elders in various Katchi Abadis (informal settlements).
One of those analysts, Tausif Ahmed Khan, said that unlike recent by-elections in Pakistan, especially Daska and Wazirabad in Punjab, for most NA-249 voters, civic issues in their region are resolved mattered most.
“Although the PPP has managed to win the constituency by promising to solve civic issues, it also poses a challenge for the political party that has ruled the province for 13 years in its failure to solve the fundamental problem of the city’s inhabitants,” Khan, who closely monitors electoral politics in the city, told The News.
The protracted war for power and resources has left the people of Karachi in dire straits, as the city’s civic conditions worsen every day, he said.
The constituents of the constituency corroborate Khan’s views. Syed Muhammad, a garment factory worker who lives in Gulshan-e-Ghazi, is a staunch supporter of the Awami National Party (ANP), which announced its support for PML-N’s Ismail in the by-election.
“Instead of the PML-N, the ANP workers led by the party’s district leader, Dr Murad, campaigned and voted for the PPP. [Qadir Khan] Mandokhel, because on the recommendation of the party leadership, the district administration installed water pipes in our area in one day during the election campaign, ”Muhammad told The News.
“After laying the pipes, all the inhabitants of our locality unanimously decided to vote for the PPP. We are now waiting for the PPP to keep its promise to bring us water through these pipelines. “
In some areas, such as Umar Farooq settlement, the district administration has carpeted damaged roads and in some localities installed water and sewer pipes, residents said.
To seduce Kutchhi voters in some neighborhoods that voted largely for Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan in the 2018 elections, PPP leaders announced that they had responded to their request to allocate them a piece of land for a cemetery for the community. Most areas of NA-249 do not have all of the basic amenities like clean water, proper roads, and garbage disposal.
“During the election campaign, we witnessed development work in our region for the first time in the past 15 years,” said Ashraf Ali, a resident of Muhammad Khan settlement. “We last saw the repair of our roads and streets during the tenure as mayor of the city of Naimatullah Khan in 2003.”