PTI leader Shahbaz Gill attacks the ECP for the alleged mistakes in the voter lists, casting doubt on the ECP’s objectivity LAHORE: On Sunday, there were clashes between PTI and PML-N supporters as voting for by-elections on 20 Punjab Assembly seats, which will determine the province’s next chief minister, began.
The voting process started at 8am and is anticipated to run until 5pm despite a few incidents of conflict.
During the voting process in Lahore’s PP-158 constituency, a fight broke out between PTI and PML-N workers. One of the PML-N employees was injured, suffering a head injury as a result.
Rana Ahsan Sharafat, a PML-N candidate, and Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, the leader of the PTI, got into a heated argument in the meantime.
Jamshed Iqbal Cheema will be detained by the police.
The police have decided to detain Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, the leader of the PTI, following the altercation between PTI and PML-N workers.
Cheema has been charged with participating in inciting violence by the injured PML-N employee. According to the police, Cheema has been targeted for arrest.
ECP notices acts of violence
The District Returning Officer was instructed by the Election Commission of Pakistan to review the circumstances in the constituency and get in touch with security personnel after the fight in Lahore’s PP-158.
The district returning officer responded to the orders by stating that the situation would soon be brought under control.
Atta Tarar of the PML-N responds to reports of a fight
Atta Tarar, a PML-N spokesperson, stated that immediate notice of the incident was taken. He charged Saeed Mahes and Jamshed Iqbal Cheema of the PTI with injuring the PML-N employee’s head.
He claimed that these two PTI leaders have been targeted for arrest.
Tarar continued by saying that no one could be permitted to cause unrest. Ahsan Sharafat, a PML-N candidate, maintained his composure, as evidenced by the video, he continued.
PTI questions the ECP’s impartiality.
PTI leader Shahbaz Gill criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan for what he claimed were mistakes in the voter lists during the crucial by-elections for 20 seats in the Punjab Assembly, casting doubt on the organization’s impartiality.
Shahbaz Gill tweeted a video of a man who claimed that the names of two members of his family were not on the voter list and questioned “Who is responsible for denying someone their right to vote?” He suggested filing a complaint in this regard under Article 6 of the constitution.
He also shared a different video of a female poll worker who alleged vote-rigging in the PP-167 constituency. The female poll worker claimed that after objecting on her CNIC, she was forced to leave the polling place and was subsequently denied entry for an hour and a half, during which time voting continued.
Is it possible without the ECP getting involved? Sill questioned.
The PTI leader criticised the poll workers in another tweet after alleging that a woman who came to vote was sent to a different constituency because her name wasn’t on the voters’ list.
He enquired as to who was accountable for the data operator’s errors.
The Punjab election commissioner responded to Shahbaz Gill’s claims by saying that unsubstantiated claims shouldn’t be used to stir up controversy during the voting process.
He denied claims that he ordered poll workers to leave Muzaffargarh’s polling places 46 and 47.
The provincial election commissioner added that only poll workers who have been approved by political parties are permitted to cast ballots.
The returning officer reported that Amir Bakhsh, a PTI polling agent, was present at polling station number 44, but that no PTI polling agent showed up at polling station number 46.
A spokesperson for the ECP responded to the PTI leader’s statement by saying that the chief election commissioner had made it clear to the chief secretary of the province and the IG of Punjab that no retaliatory action should be taken against any civilians.
The spokesperson continued, “The CEC has warned of strict action if retaliatory action is taken against anyone.” He insisted that the CEC gave the province the go-ahead to take all feasible steps to ensure free and fair elections.
Intense security was present earlier in the day as voting for by-elections to 20 Punjab Assembly seats started.
These seats became vacant as a result of the PTI’s internal uprising. The PTI needs to win at least 13 seats in Punjab to reclaim its lost throne, while the PML-N, the state’s ruling party, needs to win at least 10 of the state’s 20 seats to maintain power.
After 25 PTI MPAs20 directly elected and five elected on reserved seatsvoted for him in opposition to the party line, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif was appointed chief minister. The by-elections are distinguished by the participation of numerous political heavyweights, including seven former provincial ministers. Ajmal Cheema, Nauman Langrial, Faisal Jabona, Malik Asif Bha, Malik Asad Khokhar, Haroon Sultan Bokhari, and Saeed Akber Niwani are among them.
Syed Zain Qureshi, a current member of parliament, Saifuddin Khosa, a former member of parliament, and Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar are all running in by-elections as independent or PML-N or PTI candidates, respectively. Four of the 20 seats are in Lahore, the provincial capital and the geographic centre of Pakistan, which has greatly increased the importance of the elections.
The Multan PP-217 election, where Sheikh Salman Naeem of the PML-N is running against Syed Zain Qureshi, the son of the late foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, is the one that has received the most attention. Sheikh Salman Naeem, who won the seat as an independent candidate in the 2018 general election, defeated Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the same seat. Jehangir Khan Tareen is also known to have selected Sheikh Salman Naeem, and Qureshi was denied the position of chief minister of Punjab as a result of his victory in 2018. In order to exact revenge for his father’s defeat, Shah Mehmood’s son Makhdoom Syed Zain Qureshi, who is also a sitting MNA, is running from this seat.
Two members of the same family are running against each other in PP-272, Muzaffargarh. Former provincial minister Haroon Sultan Bokhari is running as an independent candidate to take on Syed Basit Sultan Bokhari’s wife. Three-time incumbent Haroon lost to his mother, the PTI candidate, in the same constituency in the 2018 elections. The incumbent MPA was disqualified for voting for Hamza in the CM election, and her son Basit Sultan has now filed his wife to run against Syed Haroon for the vacant seat.
The third significant contest is taking place in the PP-288 constituency of Dera Ghazi Khan, where the PTI has fielded Sardar Saifuddin Khosa, the brother of former CM Punjab Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa and the son of former governor Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa. After MPA Mohsin Atta Khosa cast her vote for Hamza Shehbaz, the seat became vacant. The PML-N has filed a candidate to fill it: Abdul Qadir Khan Khosa.
Attention has also been drawn to the elections for two seats in Lodhran, where Jehangir Khan Tareen once held a close relationship with Imran Khan. In PP-224, where former prisons minister Punjab Zawar Warraich had been positioned as the PML-N candidate after he defected to the Nawaz League and voted for Hamza Shehbaz, Pir Amir Iqbal Shah, a former MPA from 2002 and 2008, is now the PTI candidate. In the early 2018 by-elections, which were held because Jehangir Khan Tareen was disqualified, Pir Iqbal Shah, the father of Amir Iqbal Shah, won over Ali Tareen. Jehangir Tareen’s group is once again running in the by-election; he was elected in 2015 after winning the by-polls.
Izzat Javaid Khan of the PTI is running against Nazeer Ahmad Khan Baloch, a former PTI MPA who voted for Hamza and was subsequently disqualified, in PP-228, a different Lodhran seat. Ahmad Khan Baloch, his father, has also held the position of MPA.
Saeed Akber Niwani, a former provincial minister who was disqualified for supporting Hamza, is running as the PML-N candidate in Bhakkar, where the race is very competitive. Irfanullah Khan Niazi, the brother of two former MPAs named Najeebullah Khan Niazi and Inamullah Khan Niazi, has challenged him. Inamullah and Najeebullah have each won the seat three times in the past, in the by-elections of 1997, 2013, and 2014. In the past, Niazis defeated Niwanis, and this time, a very competitive match is anticipated.
Amin Zulqarnain, the PML-N candidate in PP-170 and brother of Aun Chaudhry, who was once Imran’s blue-eyed boy, is running this time. He was disqualified because he cast his ballot for Hamza. Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, a steadfast supporter of Imran’s and a former MNA, is running for this position. Zaheer has been an MNA since 2002, and the PTI predicts it will win this seat by a sizable margin.
In addition, Asif Bha, a former provincial minister for Shehbaz Sharif, has challenged PML-N candidate Ameer Hyder Sangha in PP-83, Khushab. Ameer is the brother of Ghulam Rasool Sangha, a former PTI MPA from this seat who switched allegiances to the PML-N. The PTI has proposed Malik Hassan Aslam, the brother of Umar Aslam, a sitting MNA. a very difficult
There are candidates from almost every constituency for the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan, and it is anticipated that the TLP will cause an upset in Bahawalnagar.
Elections will be held in the following constituencies: PP-7, PP-83, PP-90, PP-97, PP-125, PP-127, PP-140, PP-158, PP-167, PP-168, PP-170, PP-202, PP-217, PP-224, PP-228, PP-237, PP-272, PP-273, PP-282 and PP-288.
Analysts predicted that the PML-N and PTI’s support and respective narratives would be reflected in the results of the elections.
Today, 4.5 million people would exercise their right to vote.
Over 4.5 million [4,596,873] voters would exercise their right to vote, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) report. According to ECP statistics, there are 175 candidates running for office in the 20 constituencies with 3,140 polling places. Additionally, 1,471 polling places have been set up across all 20 constituencies. All of the polling places in Lahore have been deemed sensitive, with 122 of them across all constituencies being deemed the most sensitive. According to official sources, a control room was set up at the ECP Punjab office in Lahore to oversee the voting procedure.
In addition to Pakistan Army soldiers stationed at sensitive polling places, Rangers will be present at polling places in Lahore, Multan, and Bhakkar. The law-enforcement organisations have received directives from the ECP on how to apply the code of conduct.
ECP instals command centres.
In a statement, the ECP claimed that it has also established unique control rooms at the central and provincial levels for monitoring, which will “promptly resolve” complaints about the elections.
Prior to the by-elections, the Punjab government also shut down the bridge that connected the province with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, citing security concerns.
According to DPO Bhakkar, the bridge at Dajal Checkpost has been closed to all traffic due to security concerns, and it will stay closed until Sunday’s elections are over. On the other hand, the choice to close the bridge had an impact on local traffic patterns.