LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the ruling party in Punjab, on Tuesday swept by-polls conducted in two national and six constituencies of Punjab, while the Pakistan People’s Party returned victorious in by-polling held in a single constituency of Sindh.
The PML-N candidates only lost a single seat in Punjab’s by-polls to PML-Quaid in Narowal, putting critics in their place. However, analysts opine that by-polls at such a late stage in legislature’s life usually return candidates of ruling parties victorious, as the masses attempt to garner maximum benefits from parties sitting in assemblies.Tuesday’s polling generally remained peaceful despite sporadic reports of violence and jubilatory firing at various polling stations. The by-polls were conducted in NA-107 Gujrat constituency, NA-162 Sahiwal, PP-226 Kasowal, PP-26 Jehlum, PP-92 Gujranwala, PP-122 and PP-129 Sialkot, PP-129 Narowal and PS-21 Naushero Feroz constituency of Sindh.
Per details, PML-N’s Hanif Jatt defeated PPP and PML-Q’s joint candidate Begum Naseem Langrial, bagging 42,294 against 35,369 votes in PP-226 Kasowal constituency.PML-N’s Chaudhry Ikram bagged 27,291 in PP-122 Sialkot to outclass PPP’s Raja Amir, who managed 4,797 votes, while Moshin Ashraf, also from the PML-N, polled 55,120 votes in PP-129 Sialkot constituency to beat PML-Q’s Ansar Baryal, who got 30,848 votes.
Results in PP-92 Gujranwala also favoured the PML-N, where Nawaz Chohan got 36,547 votes to win against PPP’s Lala Asadullah with 16,492. PML-N Zahid Iqbal won the NA-162 Sahiwal by-polls by securing 75,970 votes, defeating independent candidate backed by PTI, Rai Hassan Nawaz, who secured 65,755. In NA-107 Gujrat, PML-N’s Hanif Awan won with 106,658 votes against PML-Q’s Chaudhry Rahman Naseer with 76,041 votes.
Lady luck also favoured the PML-N in PP-26 Jehlum where Chaudhry Khadam Hussain won the seat with 39,154 votes, defeating Muhammad Afzal Khan with 19,044 votes. Hussain later announced joining the PML-N.The only seat the PML-N lost in Punjab by-polls was the PP-133 Narowal constituency where the PML-Q’s Umer Sharif won the polls.In the by-polling conducted in PS-21 Naushero Feroz constituency, PPP’s Sarfraz Shah returned victorious. A clash also occurred between members of the PPP and National People’s Party in Naushero Feroz, after which polling was suspended for a while. Also, voters boycotted the voting at one of the polling stations in PP-26 Jhelum constituency.
Meanwhile, PML-Q’s Senator Kamil Ali Agha accused the PML-N of “worst kind of rigging” with the help of the administration and police in the by-elections in Punjab. Talking to reporters, he said that fearing its sure defeat in the by-elections, the Punjab government used official machinery and shattered the code of ethics set by the Election Commission of Pakistan in an unprecedented manner. However, Election Commissioner Punjab Mehboob Anwar said the polling was held in peaceful manner and only a few complaints were received.He said the commission had summoned a report over the complaints and responsibility would be fixed after receiving the reply. – Brecorder