Low turnout marred by polls in two Karachi constituencies of NA-237 and NA239

Chairman PTI Imran Khan's presence in the contest failed to mobilise voters in big numbers 

Just two hours left in the closing of voting in two Karachi national Assembly constituencies of NA-237 Malir and NA-239 Korangi for by polls- but the turnout is disappointingly very low. Even the presence of Imran Khan as the candidate in both constituencies has failed to attract voters in big numbers.

In NA-239, a total of 581,888 voters are exercising their voting rights at 340 polling stations across the constituency, which consists of 12 union committees and a ward of the Cantonment Board. The Urdu-speaking dominated constituency includes parts of Shah Faisal Colony, Model Colony, Saudabad and Al-Falah Housing Society. 

With a total of 22 aspirants running for the polls, the key contest is likely among PTI chief Imran Khan, Nayyar Raza of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) and Muhammad Yasin of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Imran Khan might be able to win this constituency.  

In NA-237 of Malir district, although 13 aspirants are contesting the by-election, many see a key contest between PTI chief Imran Khan and PPP candidate Abdul Hakeem Baloch. The constituency with much larger area and lesser number of votes has almost 300,000 registered voters exercising their rights at some 200 polling stations.

Imran Khan is facing a tough challenge from Abdul Hakeem Baloch of PPP in this constituency. Abdul Hakeem Baloch seems to have an edge in this constituency.   

It was expected that the presence of Imran Khan in the contest will attract and encourage more voters to come out in support of Imran Khan. But so far the turnout is very low. It seems that PTI chairman is longer the star attraction for many voters. Imran Khan is undoubtedly one of the most popular leaders of Pakistan and enjoys support across the country but Karachi voters find little interest in his politics. 

 We witnessed during the last two by polls in Karachi that low turned has become new norm. In the last two by polls in Karachi, the turnout was 8.8% and 11.5% respectively. It is really a matter of serious concern for all the political parties. It seems that political parties have anything to offer to the voters to attract them. The discontent among the voters have increased in the last few years. The voters have simply lost their interest in the electoral exercise. 

The lack of interest of voters in the elections is not a good sign for democracy and parliamentary politics. It is a worrying sign for all those who want to see the democracy flourishing and gaining strength in the country. But democracy needs popular support to survive and to gain strength.  

It seems that overwhelming majority of voters in Karachi has lost trust in the political parties and electoral process. They prefer to stay away from the polling stations at their homes. No political party has been able to convince them to come out and vote for its candidate.


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