JHANG: The electorates of Jhang for the first time, after the 1977 general elections, avoided swimming against the tide by going along the popular vote trends on its three NA constituencies on July 25.

In the earlier results, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidates Sahibzada Mahboob Sultan, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana and Sahibzada Ameer Sultan were declared victorious on NA-114, NA-115 and NA-116.

The results of NA-114 have surprised political analysts of the district, who were earlier predicting a comfortable win for PPP’s Faisal Saleh Hayat. The tally of ballots of major candidates Mr Hayat and Mr Sultan kept fluctuating throughout the counting process.

On July 26 morning, the results gathered by Mr Hayat’s camp suggested that he had won the day by a couple of thousand votes but after complete results, the returning officer notified Mr Sultan winner with a margin of 589 votes.

Up to 12,970 votes declared invalid raised many eyebrows prompting Mr Hayat to move for the recount of ballet papers. The returning officer accepted the plea and called both parties on Saturday (today) for recounting.

According to initial results, Mr Sultan and Mr Hayat got 106,043 and 105,454 votes, respectively.

In NA-115, independent candidates Sheikh Waqas Akram, Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi and Sughra Imam failed to deter Ms Bharwana from reaching the victory mark.

Earlier, Mr Akram and Mr Ludhianvi were being taken as the front runners. The disqualification of Rashida Yaqoob also strengthened Ms Bharwana but overall it was PTI’s magic that worked. Ms Bharwana got 91,434 votes while Mr Ludhianvi, Mr Akram and Ms Imam got 68,515, 60,598 and 21,108 votes, respectively.

Similarly, in NA-116, pollsters were betting on PTI’s Sultan and independent candidates Ameer Abbas Sial and Saima Akhter Bharwana. To their surprise, Asif Muavia stood runner up. The final result was: Mr Sultan 90,649 votes, Mr Muavia 70,842, Mr Sial 54,176 and Ms Bharwana 48,731 votes.

Besides, Mr Hayat, PTI ticket holder for PP-127 former MPA Muhammad Nawaz Bharwana and independent candidate for PP-129 Madho Lal Hussain also sought recount of ballot papers. The process will be done today. Aslam Bharwana got 27,399 votes against PTI’s Nawaz Bharwana who got 26,608 votes. Here, 6,025 votes were rejected during the counting.

Similarly, PTI candidate for PP-129 Asif Katia got 23,281 votes and runner-up Madho Lal Hussain got 22,327 votes.

Mr Hussain stated before the RO that 5,018 votes rejected at some polling stations defeated him, otherwise he was winning the poll.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2018

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