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KARACHI: The provincial assembly’s seat PS-81 fell vacant on Monday when Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani accepted the handwritten resignation of lawmaker Jam Madad Ali, who had recently quit the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) to join Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Following the acceptance of his resignation by the speaker, the assembly notified that the PS-81 constituency comprising Sanghar-cum-Mirpurkhas-II areas became vacant with effect from Feb 6, 2017.

In reply to a question, Mr Ali, who had a long association with the PML-F according to the electoral record, told Dawn that he would re-contest the seat on the PPP ticket to serve the people.

He expressed gratitude to PML-F chief Pir Pagara who, despite his joining the PPP, advised him not to resign. But, he added, his conscience did not allow him to continue to use the position he had been given by the PML-F after he had quit the party.

When asked about reasons of his parting ways with the party with which he had an over 23-year-long association, Mr Ali said he was convinced that the PPP was sincere with the people of Sindh and its policies were aimed at ensuring prosperity of the common man and development of all parts of the province.

He said he had decided to work as an ordinary worker of the PPP to serve the masses. Besides, he added, he found the party high command, including former president Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, giving ownership to the party workers.

Mr Ali said he wanted to serve the people of his constituency who appeared quite impressed with the development work being carried out in the constituencies of PPP lawmakers.

According to the electoral record, he was elected from the constituency for the first time in 1993-94 on the PML-F ticket. In the 2002 general elections he was returned to the house once again. In the 2008 general elections, he again emerged victorious on the PML-F ticket. He later became leader of the joint opposition in the Sindh Assembly.

However, when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement parted ways with the PPP-led coalition government, the then PPP chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah called on then Pir Pagara, late Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi and sought his cooperation by offering three ministries and one advisory seat. Besides Jam Madad Ali, Imtiaz Ahmad Shaikh and Dr Rafique Bhanbhan were later inducted as ministers and Imamuddin Shauqeen as adviser in the provincial cabinet.

In reply to another question, Mr Ali said that after the notification by the election commission that PS-81 had fallen vacant, by-election on the seat would be held within 45 days and he would certainly re-contest the seat on the PPP ticket.

Published in Dawn February 7th, 2017