Bhootani Panel Dominates Hub, Jam Alliance Subjugates Lasbela in LG Polls

Hub – Bhootani panel outshined its rival groups in Hub during yesterday’s much-awaited local body elections held across district Lasbela and Hub whereas former chief minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s vote mandate remained dominated in district Lasbela, the hometown of the ex-chief minister.
The first phase of local body polls was held in three districts: Lasbela, Hub, and Pishin. As per unofficial results, the Bhootani panel, an alliance of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M), and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) clinched 11 out of 12 union council seats, and 28 out of 42 municipal corporation seats, mandating the Bhootanis to elect the first mayor of the newly created district of Hub. However, the Jam alliance, with the support of the National Party, could turn the remaining 14 seats in its favour.
In Lasbela, the Jam alliance stood dominated the polls. In Uthal union, the alliance won 3 seats out of 4, one falling in the lap of the Bhootani panel. Similarly, the alliance clinched 5 seats out of nine in tehsil Bela and 4 went to the Bhootani panel.
Apart from 107 contesting candidates on 138 wards in Hub district, 31 were elected unopposed whereas, in district Lasbela’s 146 wards, 27 candidates won unopposed while 119 contested the polls.
The number of registered voters in both districts is 272,323 comprising 153,236 men and 119,087 women.
Hub falls to Bhootanis
As ‘feared’ by the former chief minister Jam Kamal Khan, the newly created district of Hub has fallen to well-known Bhootanis in LG polls. Creating Hub a new district was the brainchild of Sardar Saleh Bhootani who is currently the minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
Also Read: Lasbela: The New District Debate
Recently, Hub was notified to be a new district and the issue led to intense opposition by the former chief minister claiming that it was unjust to bifurcate district Lasbela since Hub, then tehsil, held immense economic importance for the other half, tehsil Bela.
Hub is an urban and industrial center that has been central to the interest of Bhootanis. The current win, particularly a 100 percent victory from Gaddani and Dureji, is a precursor of how much success can Bhootanis make during upcoming general elections.
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Ayaz Khan is the Assistant Editor of Balochistan Voices. He is a Digital Media fellow at Massachusetts US. He is also an environment and climate change reporter.