Will Imran Khan’s PTI Break into Sharif’s Citadel Punjab Province?

The Imran Khan-led party was leading in 102 assembly seats, only slightly behind former CM Shehbaz Sharif’s party.

Published26 Jul 2018, 11:10 AM IST
2 min read

The road to Islamabad, they say, goes through the most populous state in Pakistan, the Punjab Province, which has 139 of the 272 national assembly seats. Before the general election in Pakistan, the opinion polls indicated that PTI could emerge as the single-largest party, and if it were to rule Pakistan, Punjab had to be instrumental in the equation.

On Wednesday, 25 July, close to 55 percent of the 106 million voters ventured out to vote. A day later, the Imran Khan-led PTI not only put up a sterling performance in the national assembly elections, leading in 118 seats, but also nearly breached the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N)'s citadel, the Punjab Province.

As per the latest figures released by Pakistani news channel, Geo News, as of 4:40 pm, the PTI was neck and neck with PML-N, the party that ruled the state for the past 10 years.

The provincial assembly of Punjab holds 371 seats, of which the Shehbaz Sharif-led party was leading in 115 general seats, followed very closely by Imran Khan’s party, leading in 102 general seats, of the 297 unofficial results declared from the state.

The results showed a significant departure in the behaviour of Punjab electorate that just 5 years ago had handed over a humongous majority to PML (N).

The PML-N had, under former Prime Minister and now jailed Nawaz Sharif, arrived at power with a thumping majority, winning 309 of the total 371 constituencies.

Five years later, the PTI, which won just 30 seats in 2013, seems to have finally made its inroads into the PML-N citadel, cutting the latter’s tally by more than half.

The PTI maintained its supremacy in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, leading in 62 seats of the 99 seats that go to polls every five years.

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