Islamabad: Abdul Gilani, a son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has submitted his nomination papers to contest by-boll for the Multan National Assembly seat vacated by his father after being declared disqualified by the country’s top court.
So far, 10 candidates have submitted their nomination papers. But, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sikandar Bosan is flexing his muscles to face the young Gilani in what analyst say could turn out to be a make or break contest for the political future of ex-PM Gilani but it may also give a big boost, or cause a major setback, to the PTI if the party contests the by poll, although it has stayed away in all such previous elections.
Tuesday (June 26) is the last date of filing nomination papers by the would-be contestants according to the schedule released by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Polling will be held on July 19.
“Undeniably, winning the seat by Abdul Qadir is extremely crucial for Gilani as he wants to prove through his victory that he commands the support of his constituents and his disqualification has not dented it even slightly,” The News International, a leading English daily quoted a senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader as saying.
Bosan said he was engaged in consultations to jump in the by-election and could not stay away from it. However, he said the situation would be clear in a day or so. When pointed out that the PTI has been boycotting the by-polls on the ground that the present National Assembly was ineffective and worthless, Bosan said he was consulting his party as well. When contacted, PTI Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood said that a high-level party meeting being held tonight would take into account the overall political situation and the Multan by-election and Sikandar Bosan’s candidacy would also figure in it. He did not know Bosan has been approached by the PML-N.
The paper said Abdul Qadir might encounter a nightmarish scenario if there was a one-on-one fight between him and Bosan. But, he said, in case of a triangular contest participated by the Bosan or his brother Shaukat, Abdul Qadir and a PML-N nominee, young Gilani may clinch the seat.
According to the watcher, another PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who also belongs to Multan, will try while remaining backstage to defeat Abdul Qadir for his known rivalry with Gilani.
The paper said in his post-disqualification politics that Gilani will concentrate in Punjab especially its southern belt, he is going to present himself as a “victim of conspiracies” to evoke public sympathy.
The PPP leader told the newspaper that Gilani would have all the government resources at his command while operating from his camp at the Presidency where he has been given all the protocol attached to the office of the prime minister.