LAHORE - Repeating the success story of May 2013 general elections in the Local Government polls, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N seems poised to rule in 34 of the 36 districts of Punjab at local level.

In the general polls, PML-N had won 216 out of total 297 seats through direct contest in the Punjab. The number rose to 247 when 31 Independents joined this party. The unofficial results declared so far on the conclusion of the three phases of local government polls show PML-N stands on the top winning 3,332 of UC seats in the Punjab’s direct contest while 2,838 seats have been won by independents.

The total number of union council seats of the province is 7,602. PML-N had left one third of them open for contest between the candidates of its own party men and a large majority of them emerged victorious, said the party sources.

In district Rawalpindi where the PML-N had lost both National Assembly seats to the PTI in the general elections it made a remarkable comeback in the LG polls. Of total 46 UCs, the party won 33, independents 10 and PTI and AML just three. This difference is the result of hard work of PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi who had lost to Imran Khan in the 2013 elections. Rs 44 billion metro bus project in Pindi is believed to have paid dividend to the party in this district. Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad had made tall claims of routing N-League in Pindi which also houses his famous Lal Haveli.

In the hometown of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Mianwali, PML-N could win only one Punjab Assembly seat against three of PTI in the general elections. Of total 51 seats, PTI secured 21 UC seats followed by 13 of PML-N and 12 of independents. The N-League has improved the tally and claims attaining majority in the final account to rule the district with the help of the independents.

A serious setback to PML-N came from Rahim Yar Khan where PPP South President Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood played well to win 69 seats of total 139 UCs. The internal party rift damaged PML-N and it could secure only 29 UC slots from the district where it had won nine PA seats against three of PTI in the last elections. Here PPP is sure to get the chairmanship of the district and municipality.

PML-N is quite comfortable to get the slot of lord mayor of Lahore, its political bastion where it won 228 UC seats of 278 in the first phase. The party claims backing of 28 independent winners in the city as belonging to it.

In Bahawalpur where PML-N holds eight of 10 PA seats it has secured 142 UC seats out of total 236. Here independents grabbed 57 seats.

In Sialkot where a good number of PML-N-affiliated candidates had contested independently the party won 105 seats against total 223. Independent candidates grabbed 82 seats in the district where N-League had won all 10 PA seats. Unlike the general elections, voters stood divided in LG polls due to rift of the local leadership of the party led by a federal minister.

The results of Khushab declared so far show PML-N is leading with 76 seats out of total 198, followed by independents with 68. Here the party had won all the four PA seats and success of PTI in 40 UCs is somewhat loss to it.

PML-N has improved its position in Rajanpur district, the hometown of Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani. The party secured 46 seats out of total 69 in the district. In the general elections, PML-N got two PA seats as PPP and PTI grabbed one each.

Nonetheless, it has performed somewhat better in Rahim Yar Khan district and is in a position to get the district council chairman’s slot with the support of independents.

The PPP had won only three seats of National Assembly from Punjab in 2013 elections. Makhdoom Syed Mustafa, son of former Punjab governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmud, and Kh Ghulam Rasul Koreja were elected from NA-195 and NA-192, respectively, from Rahim Yar Khan.

PPP also has some presence, negligible though, in the local government polls in Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts. Ghulam Rabbani Khar, father of former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, is a PPP lawmaker from Muzaffargarh.

Though PPP could not win any national seat from Okara and Gujrat districts, its candidates showed better performance there in the LG elections. In Lalamusa Municipal Committee which falls under the constituency of the party’s Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira, it won majority of the seats in different union councils. Similarly, PPP performed well in the constituency of Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo in Okara district.