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SIALKOT: Among the many surprises of the July 25 election is the massive number of the rejected votes in the five National Assembly constituencies in Sialkot.

It is believed that the number of rejected votes could have changed the results in the two main constituencies – NA 73, Sialkot-II, and NA-74, Sialkot-III, where the PML-N candidates won with a slim margin.

In NA-73, the turnout remained 51.99pc and 7,386 votes were rejected. As many as 253,923 votes were polled in the constituency where PML-N’s Khwaja Muhammad Asif won by getting 116,957 votes against PTI’s Usman Dar who got 115,464 votes.

The number of rejected votes in Pasrur city’s constituency NA-74, was 8,928. The turnout remained 55.4pc and 263,807 people cast their ballots resulting in PML-N’s Ali Zahid Hamid’s victory with 97,235 votes. PTI’s Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas went down fighting with 93,734 votes.

According to unofficial results, as many as 7,015 votes were rejected in NA-72, Sialkot-I, where the turnout remained 58.11pc. As many as 259,922 votes were polled.

PML-N candidate Chaudhry Armughan Subhani won by getting 129,041 votes against PTI’s Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan who got 91,393 votes here.

In Daska city’s NA-75, Sialkot-IV, as many as 7,269 votes were rejected for a seat that saw 55.84pc turnout. PML-N’s Sahibzada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah won by getting 101,617 votes against PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi who got 61,432 votes.

In Sambrial city’s NA-76, Sialkot-V, as many as 6,025 votes were rejected.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and hundreds of outraged workers demonstrated in Pasrur and blocked traffic for two hours to protest what they said irregularities in the election. Many PTI workers allegedly attacked the office of the local returning officer and chanted slogans against the local administration.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2018