MULTAN - A total of 18 candidates are finally in the run for NA-149 by-poll as their nomination papers were accepted by the Election Commission and they were allotted electoral signs here on Tuesday. As many as 17 others withdrew their candidature.

PML-N-backed Independent candidate Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, one of the three major candidates vying for this seat, was allotted Bucket as electoral sign while his major opponent Malik Aamir Dogar, another independent candidate being supported by PTI, was given Rabbit. The PPP candidate Dr Javed Siddiqu was allotted the party’s sign of Arrow.

Similarly, a former MNA Sheikh Tahir Rashid got electoral sign of Goat, Boota Sarfraz Dressing Table, Ch Abdullah Hanger, Ch Tariq Zaman Still Camera, Hakim Moen Qureshi Pressure Cooker, Muhammad Hussain Qureshi Gramophone, Rashid Jamal Hen, Rana Khalil Suitcase, Rana Faraz Noon Heater, Fayaz Khan Bottle, Muhammad Rafi Khan Watermelon, Shakil Butt Drum, Prof Latif Ansar Lajpal Toothbrush, Yousuf Bhatti Glass and Anwar Khan Niazi was allotted electoral sign of Crocodile.

The NA-149 seat got vacated because of Makhdoom Javed Hahsmi’s resignation from national assembly and a by-election was scheduled for October 16 by the Election Commission.

A total of 36 candidates had submitted their nomination papers out of which the papers of one aspirant namely Rao Aneesur Rehman were rejected while rest of all were accepted.

Those who withdrew their nomination papers included Ijaz Ahmad Janjua, Nadir Nawaz, Aon Abbas Bappi, Usman Bhatti, Siddiq Ansari, Sarwat Khan, Tehreem Babar, Altaf Hussain, Shahid Mahmood, Tariq Naem Ullah, Malik Liaqat, Malik Fakhir, Nadem Qureshi, Khalid Khakwani, Asif Anwar and Tufail Ishaq.

Meanwhile, former MPA and provincial minister Moeen Qureshi announced support for the PTI-backed candidate Aamir Dogar.