PML-Q fields Shujaat sister for district council head

Source: Published in Politics on Monday, January 18, 2016

GUJRAT: The PML-Q has surprisingly nominated Sameera Elahi, the sister of party chief Shujaat Husain, for the slot of Gujrat district council chairperson.

This is for the first time in the political history of Zahoor Elahi family spanning almost five decades that a female member will be contesting polls.

As none of the members of the family had contested directly in any union council of the district during the phase-I of the local bodies elections held in Gujrat on Oct 31, Ms Sameera will first contest for women reserved seat to become member of the district council, a prerequisite to be a candidate for the top slot of the council.

Previously, the late Mrs Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi had anchored the successes gained by her scions in the local as well as national politics and she had always been an active part of the family politics in the women segment of society but she too never contested any elections.

Woman member of family is contesting polls for first time

However, family sources say that soon after the demise of Mrs Zahoor Elahi, her daughter Sameera Elahi had taken over the charge of the affairs and finally she was nominated by family head Shujaat Husain to contest the elections.

Earlier, the four-time winner of Gujrat district council’s top seat twice as chairman (1992 and 1998) and twice as district nazim (2001 and 2005) and younger brother of Shujaat, Shafaat Husain, had hinted at contesting for the slot for the fifth time. He had expressed his desire to run for the reserved seat of technocrats in the district council.

There are at least 33 reserved seats in Gujrat district council, including 15 for women, six each for farmers and technocrats, five minorities and one for youth.

Nomination papers for these slots are scheduled to be received by Jan 20 and 21 whereas polling for the reserved seats of district council and municipal corporations will be held on Feb 8.

Polling for the reserved seats of municipal committees and union councils will be held on Feb 11 and 14, respectively after which schedule for the last and final stage of electing chairmen of district councils and municipalities will be announced.

Although out of total 117 union councils of the district the PML-Q could win 20 seats, yet the party is sure of having support of another opposition party -- PTI -- that have 15 members in Gujrat district council. The PML-Q also claims to have support of some independents whose total strength in the house is 23.

The ruling PML-N has some 59 members in the Gujrat district council and at least five candidates from the party including Tahirul Mulk of Nawabzada family, Mian Sher Afghan, scion of MPA Mian Tariq, Tanveer Kotla, Shoaib Fatta Bhand, the cousin of MNA Jaafar Iqbal, and Ali Ahmed Tahir have been vying for the party ticket for the top slot.

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Written by Waseem Ashraf Butt

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