Raza Hayat Hiraj once again changes the party before the general elections 2018. He quit ruling PML-N to join the PTI. PTI is his fourth party since 2002. He met with PTI leader Imran Khan in Islamabad and announced to join PTI. He was elected as an independent candidate from NA-156 Khanewal I in the 2013 general elections. He later joined PML-N. Raza Hayat Hiraj has joined the exclusive club of lawmakers who never contested two elections in a row on the ticket of a same party.
NA-156 Khanewal I (now NA-150) constituency is unique in the sense that the main three candidates contested the 2002, 2008 and 2013 on the tickets of different parties. Raza Hayat Hiraj won on PPP ticket in2002, PML-Q ticket in 2008 and an independent in 2013. Syed Fakhar Imam is a seasoned politician. He was elected speaker of the National assembly in 1985. He lost on PML-Q ticket in 2002, PPP ticket in 2008 and PML-N ticket in 2013. Dr. Khawar Shah contested 2002 and 2008 elections on PML-N ticket and in 2013 he contested on PTI ticket. So Raza Hayat Hiraj belongs to a unique constituency where no candidate has a political loyalty with any political party.
Raza Hayat Hiraj belongs to the influential Hiraj family of KabirWala in Khanewal district. He was elected member national assembly for the very first time in 2002 on PPP ticket. He polled 86,000 votes here in 2002 and won this seat against his family’s traditional rival, Syed Fakhar Imam of the PML-Q, who received 59,000 votes. The Syeds and the Hirajs have been confronting each other in this constituency since 1985.
In 2008 election, however, both had switch sides. Imam Contested on PPP ticket and again lost to Raza Hayat Hiraj with good margin of thirteen thousand votes, thanks to Syed Khawar Ali Shah, a relative of Imam who was contesting on PML-N ticket and polled 13,000votes. In 2013, Fakhar again lost to Raza with the margin of 10,000 votes as his cousin Khawar shah get 20,000 votes on PTI ticket.
It is not yet clear that Fakhar imam will stay in PML-N and contest the next election on its symbol or change the party once again. Fakhar Imam was also interested to join the PTI but Hiraj took the initiative and joined it before Fakhar Imam.