PPP hopes to withdraw NA-133 in PML-N “territory” – Newspaper

LAHORE: Opposition PML-N and PPP are expected to have a good contest over one of Lahore’s key constituencies, NA-133, by ballot here on Sunday (today).

The PML-N expects an “easy victory” as the PPP has told the Sharifs to be ready for a “big upheaval”. While the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is out of action due to a “technical” problem, the field is open for PPP to give PML-N a “bad patch”.

It is interesting to note that the senior leaders of the PML-N and the PPP did not hold a single public meeting in the constituency contrary to their past practice in the secondary ballots. PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz had been active in the polls and would speak at a final rally, but she chose not to visit constituency NA-133 this time around.

PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari has been camping in Lahore for two weeks, but none of its top leaders have held a public meeting in the constituency.

Public resentment makes the contest all the more unpredictable

The approach has shaken languages ​​as to whether it is some sort of “deal” between the two opposition parties not to hold a public meeting in the constituency to be approached by its main leaders in order to to avoid slander in the absence of the PTI.

Both parties focused on corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns. The PPP, however, staged a few motorcycle rallies in the constituency and appeared a little aggressive in the campaign for their candidate Aslam Gill.

On the other hand, PML-N candidate Shaista Pervaiz Malik is in ‘Iddat’ and her son MP Ali Pervaiz Malik led the campaign.

NA-133 has over 370,000 registered voters. A visit to parts of this journalist’s constituency showed that both parties had spent large sums on advertising campaigns. However, on the ground, we did not see much enthusiasm from the voters.

“If you ask me, I’m not interested in Sunday’s poll after what Imran Khan’s government has done to us in the form of inflation and unemployment,” township resident Tariq Nazir told Dawn. . “We are fed up with empty slogans and empty promises from candidates. If the PTI candidate had contested, I would certainly have voted against him. Now I prefer to stay at home and I won’t ruin my vacation, ”he said.

Saleem Ahmed, a resident of Green Town, said his area had not seen any development for a long time. “People in my region are not interested in this indirect ballot because they think that whoever is elected, can do nothing good for the constituency since he is from the opposition party,” he said. and predicted a low turnout.

The PML-N and the PPP traded allegations of vote buying. The ECP has already ordered a forensic audit of video clips that went viral on social media in which voter loyalty was allegedly bought for Shaista Malik in NA-133.

“Since the PPP has no chance in this election, it is doing its best to buy the votes,” said PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bokhari. She told Dawn on Saturday that despite such PPP tactics, Ms. Malik would have an “easy victory”. Defending party leaders for not holding a public meeting in the constituency, Ms Bokhari said: “We didn’t feel the need because the PTI is out of the competition.

She also claimed that the party identified 11 people belonging to the PTI who were buying votes, posing as the workers of the PML-N.

PPP leader Usman Malik said it was now an open secret which party was buying votes. “Seeing the aggressive PPP campaign, the PML-N set up centers in the constituency where they offered money to voters… and the Election Commission took note,” he told Dawn.

Mr Malik further said the PML-N would have to prepare for a “big upheaval” on Sunday, as the PPP candidate had the support of voters who were fed up with the anti-popular policies of the PTI. “In addition to securing the support of former PPP sympathizers, Mr. Gill will secure the voices of Pakistani Awami Tehreek, Dr Tahirul Qadri, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) and 70,000 Christians,” a- he said and added the PML-N campaign. was hardly seen because of the conflict between Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz.

For the first time in the tenure of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), only opposition parties are vying for a ballot. The ECP had rejected the candidacy documents of the former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister in charge of food security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, and his wife for NA-133 on the grounds that “the proposers and supporters of the two were not not constituency residents as required. under electoral laws ”.

The opposition claims that Mr. Cheema did so intentionally knowing well the people’s anger at inflation and rising prices.

The PTI has asked its voters to abstain from voting on polling day for the NA-133 by-election because the party’s candidate erred in failing to meet legal requirements.

The seat became vacant after the death of PML-N president in Lahore, Pervaiz Malik. In the 2018 general election, Pervaiz Malik defeated PTI Central Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry by a margin of 12,000 votes.

Meanwhile, the ECP fined Aslam Gill 50,000 rupees for violating the electoral code of conduct.

Posted in Dawn, le 5 December 2021

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