All eyes are focussed on Karachi constituency NA-243 Karachi East district because PTI chief Imran Khan chooses to contest elections from this constituency. He will face heavy height candidates of other political parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former deputy speaker Sindh Assembly Syeda Shehla Raza, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) convener and heavyweight Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader former law-maker of MQM Muzammil Qureshi.
An interesting and tough battle is expected in this Karachi constituency. Both the PTI and MQM-P have fielded the strongest possible candidates in the form of Imran Khan and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The PPP fielded energetic and active Shehla Raza who will contest her first direct election. The MMA hasn’t announced its candidate yet in this constituency. The MMA candidate won this constituency in 2002 general elections. MQM won this constituency in 2008 and 2013 general elections.
This constituency is wide open for all the parties. It remained MQM stronghold for long period of time. But the situation is different this time. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui is a strong candidate but he will face an uphill task to beat Imran Khan and MMA candidate. MQM has big vote bank in this constituency but it will divide between MQM-P and Pak Sarzameen Party. MQM-P has been weakened after the splits and defections.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) also enjoys considerable support in this constituency. Its candidate won the 2002 general elections from this constituency on MMA ticket. So MMA cannot be ruled out in this constituency as it can give tough time to other candidates.
The constituency mainly comprises the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Subdivision, and census charge 12 and 13 of Jamshed Quarters. It was created in the 2018 delimitation from areas of old NA-252 and the section of Gulshan-e-Iqbal in NA-253.
The areas falling in the constituency are considered to be MQM strongholds but with the infighting in the party, divided vote bank, contesting polls against a heavyweight like Imran Khan and seasoned politician like Shehla Raza might prove a tough call for MQM-P.
Shehla Raza, on the other hand, has been quite active in the constituency and has spoken to a number of corner meetings. PPP has sizeable vote bank in the area and can give tough time to opponents.
It seems that there will be a five-way contest between PTI, PSP, MMA, MQM-P, and PPP. There will be a lot of interest in this constituency from all over the country as Imran Khan is contesting his first election from Karachi in NA-243.
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17 July, 2019