LAHORE - On Sunday, The Nation sat down with voters of Rajgarh and Prem Nager areas just after they exercised their right to vote in a nail biting contest between PML-N candidate Kulsoom Nawaz and Dr Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for NA-120 seat.

Supporters of the ruling party came to polling stations dancing on drum beats while PTI voters wearing party’s badges, shawls, caps. A close contest was witnessed between the two rival political parties at Rajgarh, Sanda, Bund Road areas.

A good number of polling camps had been set up by the PTI, PML-N and by independent candidate Sheikh Yaqoob who was supported by newly emerged Milli Muslim League - a political faction of Jamatud Dawa. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had also set up stalls but most of them were deserted.

People in the constituency expressed their satisfaction over the Army taking control of the polling stations and law enforcement agencies who remained on their toes to avoid any untoward incident.

A PML-N voter, Faisal said he was sure about the victory of Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif. He said a good number of his friends also cast their votes for PML-N. Faisal, along with his friends, chanted slogans ‘Dekho Dekho Kon Aya, Sher Aya, Sher Aya” – a decades-old slogan raised during every election Nawaz Sharif’s party contests.

Shehzad Sandhu, 23, was enthusiastic and passionate to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. “I voted for PTI, only which can bring change and reforms in health, education and police culture. Only Imran Khan’s vision can fulfill these public demands,” he insisted.

Interestingly, the young man claimed several of his friends had to cast their votes for PTI ‘silently’ amid their elders’ reservations. “Majority of Prem Nagar youth wanted to cast votes for PTI but due to the deep political ties of our elders with PML-N, they did not disclose their intention to vote for PTI and silently voted without speaking about it,” he said.

Shehzad said he cast his vote in 15 to 20 minutes at the office of Director General Housing & Town Planning Agency polling station.

Two booths were established at the office of Deputy District Education Officer - Prem Nagar and Sanda Road. There are 1,353 voters registered.

In both areas, there was no female voter registered.

Some voters also shared they had faced difficulties in finding their respective polling stations in Prem Nagar area of NA-120. Shahid Iqbal, a resident of Sanda, said, “It took me 20 to25 minutes to find my actual polling station as my vote has been transferred to another one.” He voted for PTI.

“I have also brought my son along with me and have asked him to vote for PTI too so we can contribute in bringing change,” said Shahid who was blank about the winner.

Yousaf Matto, president of PTI’s Minority Wing in Okara district, said he along with PTI leader Ahsraf Sohna came to support the PTI voters in the constituency.

The polling stations of Prem Nagar presented a deserted look from 1-3 pm as mercury level was high in afternoon.

At polling camps in Prem Nagar, the voters turnout was low and remained about 30 percent during the voting time.