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PML-N wins PP-100 by-poll in contest marred by rain, scuffles

Updated July 26, 2015


Residents faced hardships reaching polling stations due to rains; PTI, PML-N supporters scuffled over rigging allegations. —INP/File
Residents faced hardships reaching polling stations due to rains; PTI, PML-N supporters scuffled over rigging allegations. —INP/File

GUJRANWALA: PML-N's Rana Akhtar Ali Khan convincingly won the by-poll conducted for provincial assembly constituency PP-100 in Gujranwala on Sunday, securing a total of 49,991 votes, according to unofficial results.

Runner-up Chaudhry Ihsan Ullah Virk of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) could secure only 28, 380 votes.

The seat fell vacant following the murder of MPA Rana Shamshad Ahmad of the PML-N, who was gunned down alongside his son aboard his car almost two months ago.

Know more: PML-N MPA, son shot dead in Gujranwala.

For the by-poll, the PML-N had awarded its ticket to Rana Akhtar Ali Khan, brother of the late MPA Shamshad Ali Khan, while Chaudhry Ihsan Ullah Virk was the PTI’s candidate.

Earlier, vote-counting began as polling ended for the provincial assembly seat in Gujranwala district's Kamoki area amid tension between PML-N and PTI running high in the wake of the Judicial Commission’s report.

The polling process was marred by scuffles between PTI and PML-N supporters and monsoon rains, with polling starting in several stations after a delay of half hour to an hour.

After the conclusion of polling, some enraged supporters pelted stones at passing vehicles, breaking their windscreens.

Also read: JC finds 2013 elections 'fair and in accordance with law'

Residents faced hardships in reaching polling stations in several areas of the constituency, DawnNews reported.

Television footage showed residents attempting to cross a puddle by stepping on cold drink crates placed inverted on the ground. A man is seen losing his balance and falling into a puddle of rainwater.

As people waited in long queues to cast their votes, a scuffle broke out between supporters of the PML-N and PTI at a polling station. The scrimmage, which started as PML-N and PTI loyalists hurled rigging allegations at each other, ended with intervention of police.

Polling took place two days after a clash between workers of the two parties left at least 10 people injured.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had taken notice of the violation of the code of conduct and directed the returning officer to issue notices to the two parties and take action against them. Similarly, the provincial government had been directed to ensure law and order.

Gujranwala City Police Officer Waqas Nazir earlier said around 200 Rangers personnel would be deployed at 113 polling stations in Kamoki besides 2,300 policemen to maintain law and order.

Gujranwala for years is known as a stronghold of PML-N. In the 2013 general elections, the PML-N candidate (Rana Shamshad) had emerged victorious in the constituency, securing 54,518 votes to beat Yasir Arafat Ramay of the PTI who bagged 14,618 votes.