MARDAN - A tough contest is expected between Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on provincial constituency PK-53, Mardan-6, in the by election which will be held on Sunday.

This constituency includes some urban and rural union councils including Bagh-e-Iram, Bijligar, Bigut Gunj, Mardan Khas, Maho Dhari, Khazana Dhari, Chamtar, Manga, Kaskorona, Dagai and Baghdada. The total registered voters are 153,352 including 64,867 females. The Election Commission of Pakistan has established 131 polling stations, including 53 for men, 49 for women and 29 combined in this constituency for the by-election.

However, 114 polling stations had been declared more sensitive and 17 polling stations were declared sensitive.

According to the police security plan, total 3,300 security personnel will be deployed on the polling day. However, 1,500 police cops will perform duty on more sensitive and sensitive polling station.

Six candidates are contesting by-election on this seat. However, a tough contest is expected among ANP candidate Ahmed Khan Bahadur and PTI candidate Abdus Salam Afridi.

In the 2002 general elections, MMA candidate Ikramullah Shahid succeeded on this seat.

In the 2008 general elections, ANP provincial president Ameer Haider Hoti won this seat and later became the Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the 2013 election, Ameer Haider Hoti again won this seat. However, later on he vacated this seat and Ahmed Khan Bahadur on ANP ticket succeeded on this seat in the by-election.

Ahmed Bahadur also succeeded on PK-52, Mardan-5 in the 2008 general elections. A hard-hitting contest is expected between ANP candidate Ahmed Bahadur and PTI’s Abdus Salam Afridi.

However, JUI-F has withdrawn their candidate in favour of ANP candidate in this constituency. JUI-F, PML-N, PPP and other opposition parties are also supporting ANP candidate in the by-election on this seat.

PML-N former candidate Khan Akbar Afridi who has great hold in the Afridi tribe settled in this constituency had arranged a huge public meeting at his residence and announced to support ANP candidate Ahmed Bahadur. While, JUI-F, PPP and other opposition parties had also arranged a corner meeting and started struggle for the success of ANP candidate.

ANP workers claimed that due to the anti-masses policies of the PTI-led government, the masses of this constituency will use their votes in favour of ANP candidate.