Punjab by-polls in focus as battle for 20 seats begins

Voting for by-polls on 20 Punjab Meeting seats begins. Photograph: Geo Information/ file   

LAHORE: Polling for by-elections on 20 Punjab Meeting seats— that can resolve who will turn into the following chief minister of the province — started amid tight safety on Sunday.

Voting started at 8am and can proceed until 5pm with none break.

An intense and neck-and-neck contest is predicted on all 20 seats between the candidates of ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

These seats fell vacant on account of the revolt throughout the PTI. The PML-N, the ruling celebration in Punjab, must win no less than 10, out of 20 seats, to remain in energy, whereas the PTI must win no less than 13 seats to regain its misplaced crown in Punjab.

Hamza Shehbaz Sharif turned chief minister after 25 MPAs of the PTI, 20 immediately elected and 5 elected on reserved seats, voted for him, in opposition to the pparty line The hallmark of the by-polls is the presence of many political heavyweights, together with seven former provincial ministers, contesting the polls. They embrace Ajmal Cheema, Nauman Langrial, Faisal Jabona, Malik Asad Khokhar, Malik Asif Bha, Haroon Sultan Bokhari and Saeed Akber Niwani.

A sitting MNA, Syed Zain Qureshi, former MNAs Saifuddin Khosa, Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar are contesting by-polls both on the PML-N and the PTI or as unbiased candidates. Out of the 20 seats, 4 are in Lahore, the center of Pakistan and the provincial capital, resulting from which significance of the elections has elevated manifold.

Essentially the most mentioned contest is the one happening in Multan, PP-217, the place PML-N’s Sheikh Salman Naeem is contesting in opposition to Syed Zain Qureshi, son of former international minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. On the identical seat, Shah Mehmood Qureshi was defeated by Sheikh Salman Naeem in 2018 basic election, who received the seat as an unbiased candidate. Sheikh Salman Naeem can also be recognized to have been a selection of Jehangir Khan Tareen and his victory in 2018 disadvantaged Qureshi of changing into the Punjab chief minister. Now Shah Mehmood’s son, Makhdoom Syed Zain Qureshi, who can also be a sitting MNA, is contesting from this seat to avenge the defeat of his father.

In PP-272, Muzaffargarh, two folks of the identical household are contesting in opposition to one another. Haroon Sultan Bokhari, former provincial minister, is contesting as an unbiased candidate in opposition to his actual brother Syed Basit Sultan Bokhari’s spouse. Haroon, three-time winner of the seat, additionally misplaced to his mom in 2018 elections from the identical constituency when she was the PTI candidate. After voting Hamza within the CM election, the sitting MPA confronted disqualification and on the vacant seat, her son Basit Sultan has now fielded his spouse and he’s contesting in opposition to Syed Haroon.

Third main contest is happening in Dera Ghazi Khan’s PP-288 constituency, the place the PTI has fielded Sardar Saifuddin Khosa, son of former governor Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, and a brother of former CM Punjab Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa. The PML-N has fielded Abdul Qadir Khan Khosa on the seat, which fell vacant after MPA Mohsin Atta Khosa voted for Hamza Shehbaz.

The election on two seats of Lodhran, the district of Jehangir Khan Tareen, as soon as the shut assured of Imran Khan, has additionally caught consideration. Pir Amir Iqbal Shah, former MPA of 2002 and 2008, is now the PTI candidate from PP-224, the place former prisons minister Punjab Zawar Warraich had been pitched because the PML-N candidate after he defected to Nawaz League and voted for Hamza Shehbaz. Pir Iqbal Shah, father of Amir Iqbal Shah, defeated Ali Tareen within the by-polls held in early 2018, as Jehangir Khan Tareen was disqualified. In 2015, Jehangir Tareen himself obtained elected after successful the by-polls and this time his group is as soon as once more within the by-election.

In PP-228, one other seat of Lodhran, Izzat Javaid Khan of the PTI is contesting in opposition to Nazeer Ahmad Khan Baloch, former PTI MPA, who voted for Hamza and obtained disqualified. His father Ahmad Khan Baloch has additionally served as an MPA.

A really powerful contest is happening in Bhakkar the place former provincial minister Saeed Akber Niwani is contesting because the PML-N candidate after being disqualified for voting for Hamza. He has been challenged by Irfanullah Khan Niazi, brother of two former MPAs Najeebullah Khan Niazi and Inamullah Khan Niazi. Each Najeebullah and Inamullah have received the seat prior to now for thrice, in 1997, 2013 and 2014 by-polls. Niazis defeated Niwanis prior to now and this time, a really powerful contest is predicted once more.

In PP-170, Amin Zulqarnain, brother of Aun Chaudhry, as soon as a blue eyed boy of Imran, is the PML-N candidate this time. He voted for Hamza and confronted disqualification. Imran has fielded his stalwart and former MNA Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar from this seat. Zaheer has served as an MNA in 2002 and that is the seat which the PTI believes it’s going to win with a good margin.

Moreover, in PP-83, Khushab, Asif Bha, former provincial minister of Shehbaz Sharif, has challenged the PML-N ticket holder Ameer Hyder Sangha. Ameer is a brother of former PTI MPA from this seat Ghulam Rasool Sangha, who defected to the PML-N. The PTI has provide you with Malik Hassan Aslam, brother of sitting MNA Umar Aslam. A really powerful contest is predicted right here.

The Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan has additionally fielded candidates from nearly each constituency and in Bahawalnagar, additionally it is anticipated that an upset might happen as a result of TLP.

The by-polls are going to be held in 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 constituencies.

Analysts stated that the elections would replicate on the recognition of the 2 events, PML-N and PTI, and their narratives.

In the meantime, the method of supply of polling supplies has began. The fabric has been handed over to the presiding officers in all of the cities the place the by-polls are scheduled to be held.

 4.5mn voters would train their proper to vote as we speak 

As per the Election Fee of Pakistan (ECP) report, over 4.5 million [4,596,873] voters would train their proper to vote. The ECP statistics revealed that 175 candidates are competing in 20 constituencies the place 3,140 polling stations have been arrange. Additionally, a complete of 1,471 polling cubicles have been established in all 20 constituencies. Lahore’s all polling stations have been declared delicate, 122 polling stations throughout all constituencies declared most delicate. A management room was established on the ECP Punjab workplace in Lahore to observe the voting course of, based on official sources.

Safety measures 

Rangers shall be deployed at polling stations in Lahore, Multan and Bhakkar, whereas Pakistan Military troopers can even be deployed at delicate polling stations. The ECP has issued directions to the law-enforcement companies to implement the code of conduct.

ECP units up management rooms 

The ECP, in an announcement, stated it has additionally arrange particular management rooms at central and provincial ranges for monitoring, which can “promptly resolve” election-related complaints.

Additionally the Punjab authorities blocked the bridge connecting the province with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa forward of the by-elections, citing safety causes.

DPO Bhakkar stated that the bridge had been closed for any sort of visitors at Dajal Checkpost resulting from safety issues and it might stay closed until polling ends on Sunday. Then again, the choice to dam the bridge affected the circulate of visitors within the space.

In the meantime, navy’s media wing stated Saturday that Pakistan Military troops would carry out solely “Fast Response Drive” duties in case of any legislation and order scenario arising throughout polling on Sunday (as we speak).

The Inter-Companies Public Relations (ISPR), in an announcement, stated that troops carried out reconnaissance on the most delicate areas in respective areas as third-tier responders to any legislation and order scenario within the province.

The ISPR stated the reconnaissance was carried out in keeping with the instructions of the Election Fee of Pakistan (ECP).

Within the gentle of the political tensions forward of the by-polls, the federal government has additionally determined to deploy Frontier Constabulary (FC) along with Rangers personnel.

The federal government has additionally determined to impose a ban on the motion of armed employees of any political celebration within the constituencies the place the by-polls are being held.

Inside Minister Rana Sanaullah warned PTI Chairman Imran Khan in opposition to disrupting the peaceable proceedings of by-elections by inciting riots or violence. “The legislation will take its due course if anybody tries to sabotage the writ of the state by indulging in illegal actions,” the minister stated in a tweet.

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