KARACHI: In the clash of titans, it was a battle between maternal uncle and nephew of one of the most influential families in Ghotki.
Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar, fielded on the Pakistan Peoples Party’s ticket, defeated independent candidate Sardar Ahmed Ali Mahar on the National Assembly-205, Ghotki-II, seat in Tuesday’s by-polls with a margin of more than 16,000 votes.
Bux received 90,180 votes, while Ali Mahar pocketed 72,499 votes, according to unofficial results. Sardar Ahmed Ali Mahar is nephew of Bux Khan Mahar and son of former MNA Ali Muhammed Mahar, who passed away on May 21 because of cardiac arrest which left the seat vacant. Ali Muhammed Mahar had also been elected as MPA from this constituency between 2002 and 2004.
In 2018 general elections, Ali Muhammad Mahar had bagged 71,943 votes as an independent candidate, while PPP’s Ehsanullah was runner-up with 41,843 votes, followed by MMA’s Abdul Qadoos with 36,956 votes. Later, Mahar had become federal minister for narcotics control after joining the ruling party.
Though there were nine candidates in the arena, but the real contest was between the two Mahars this time also. Ahmed Ali enjoyed the full support of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Grand Democratic Alliance. The independent candidate was supposed to formally join the PTI after winning the election.
The constituency had 360,875 registered voters including 204,891 male and 155,935 female voters. A total of 290 polling stations were set up which included 56 each for male and female voters while 178 were combined polling stations.
Out of the total 290, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had declared 125 polling stations highly sensitive and 164 sensitive.
Strict security arrangements were put in place under the Election Commissioner of Pakistan’s directives. Army personnel were deployed inside the polling stations, despite opposition by the Sindh’s ruling party.
NA-205 covers PS-20 and PS-21 which were won by Ali Gohar Khan Mahar of the Pir Pagara-led anti-PPP alliance, GDA, and his brother Ali Nawaz Khan Mahar as a PPP candidate, respectively, in the general elections.