NA-158 MULTAN Multan: Former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani confronts the issue of lack of development works in NA-158 (old NA-152) where he will contest the election for the first time after him disqualification by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2012.Talking to Daily Times, Gillani said that Pakistan Peoples Party has always struggled to promote democracy in the country. “When SC disqualified me, I followed the orders unlike the PML-N leadership who have raised the slogan of “mujhe kyon nikala” (why have I been ousted),” said Gillani, adding that the PPP manifesto is always a people friendly manifesto and after winning polls, he would provide all basic facilities to the people of south Punjab. He said that only PPP can end the deprivation of the people of south Punjab. “The way we had introduced 18th amendment in our tenure, we shall pass bill for the establishment of a seraiki province,” he added. NA-158 includes Shujaabad and a few areas of Jalalpur Peerwala, sub-districts of Multan. The area is mostly rural and the literacy rate is very low. The total number of registered voters in this constituency are 436,391, including 237,478 male and 198,913 female voters.On the seat of the national assembly, PTI has fielded Ibrahim Khan and PML-N Syed Javed Ali Shah against Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. Javed Ali Shah remained a senator from the seat of PPP and later joined PML-N. In the 2013 general elections, PML-N’s Syed Javed Ali Shah won the seat of MNA by defeating Ahmad Mujtaba Gillani, brother of Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, and Ibrahim Khan. Asad Murtaza Gillani, Gillani’s nephew, won the seat in 2002. Asad Murtaza died during a stampede in the Hajj in 2015. Over 700 pilgrims including 40 Pakistanis died in the incident.Some political observers say that Gillani will also look for sympathy vote in the name of Asad Murtaza. They believe that his challenges, Gillani is in a position to win from this constituency as people have shown up in great number during the recent visit of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Due to poverty and lack of educational facilities, this constituency is under the influence of religious seminaries and the heads of various madaris have extended support to Gillani during his election campaign. In PP-220, PPP has fielded Kamran Marral against PML-N’s Rana Tahir Shabbir and PTI’s Tariq Abdullah. In PP-221, PTI’s Rana Sohail Noon is contesting against PML-N’s Rana Ijaz Ahmad Noon. While PPP has fielded Khurram Fareed Khakwani on the seat of provincial assembly.Main issues of this constituency are poor health facilities and lack of clean drinking waters. Voters say that despite winning from this constituency Gillanis have not made any effort for the provision of basic facilities in this constituency. “We are not provided with clean drinking water that is a necessity of life, we have to travel to Multan for medical facilities,” said a voter. Voters say this time they would vote for candidate who assure them of provision of clean drinking water, better health facilities and construction of roads. They say that Javed Ali Shah of PML-N has failed to fulfill his promises in previous elections, and has done nothing to facilitate the people of Shujaabad and Jalapur peerwala. Published in Daily Times, July 24th 2018.