Candidates have geared up for the first phase of the local body elections in Tharparkar and are addressing corner meetings in a bid to garner the support of voters ahead of the polling day on June 26.
Approximately 1,749 candidates are set to compete for different seats of the wards of the towns in the local body polls. According to the election commission, 246 candidates would try to get elected on the tehsil chairman and vice chairman seats, 264 will contest for the district council member while 993 candidates will contest for the general seats of the village and neighbourhood councils in 64 union councils.
It is pertinent to note that the election campaign in Mithi, Nagarparkar, Chachhro, Dahli, Diplo, Kaloi, Islamkot taluka has gained momentum. The Election Commission Tharparkar has set up 1,734 polling booths in 696 polling stations, 148 polling stations have been set up for men, 146 for women, whereas 401 stations are non-segregated. The polling will continue from 8:00am to 5:00pm without any break. In total, as many as 717,217 registered voters would use their right to vote in the LG election.
Candidates affiliated with the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), QAT and independents are ready for the grand contest. Very tough contest is expected in most areas of the desert district among supporters of PPP, PTI and PPP dissident who are contesting as independent candidates after being denied party tickets. Prominent among such candidates is one of the most senior PPP leaders, Mohammad Khan Loond, who can create trouble for the party candidates in his hometown Kaloi and in different UCs of Diplo. Loond has openly been supporting PTI candidates in different areas of Tharparkar.
However, there is likely to be a tough competition between the candidates of PPP, PTI and other independent candidates in Diplo, Kaloi, Nagarparkar and Chhachhro town and other parts of the district. PPP has already won four wards of Islamkot town and is most likely to win most of the wards of Mithi town due to the massive support of the locals for PPP MNA Mahesh Kumar Malani and his family members. Meanwhile, as many as 17 candidates mostly affiliated have already returned unopposed from different wards of the district.
Most of the political parties have expressed serious concern over the flaws in delimitations. District Election Commissioner Tharparkar Saleem-ud-Din Dal said that for the convenience of the people, the Election Commission of Pakistan had set up display centers in nearby areas for the accuracy of voting and display of objections and this phase will continue from May 21 to June 19, 2022.