'Caught red-handed': Maryam claims votes stolen in Wazirabad by-election for PTI

Published February 19, 2021
PML-N's Maryam Nawaz has claimed that persons working for the PTI were caught stealing votes in the PP-51 by-elections. — Screengrab taken from video shared by Maryam Nawaz
PML-N's Maryam Nawaz has claimed that persons working for the PTI were caught stealing votes in the PP-51 by-elections. — Screengrab taken from video shared by Maryam Nawaz

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Friday claimed that PML-N workers caught persons working for the PTI "red-handed" allegedly stealing bagfuls of votes cast in the by-elections for Punjab's PP-51 (Wazirabad) constituency.

"PTI people caught red-handed stealing bagfuls of votes by PML-N MPA Adil Chatta and Ataa Tarar. Seal was also broken. Police was a part of the plan to steal votes for PTI," Maryam tweeted.

She also shared a number of what she called "bombshell videos" showing PML-N workers accosting a man who allegedly stole a bag of votes from a polling station. Terming it "naked rigging", Maryam claimed the man was acting at the behest of the PTI.

One of the videos shared by the PML-N leader showed a man sitting in a car with apparently a bag of votes placed next to him. "He was caught red-handed. PML-N workers did not allow him to escape. Rangers also present," Maryam said about the man in question.

Referring to the same man in another tweet, she said PML-N workers caught the presiding officer of the polling station located at Virtual University in Wazirabad "running away with polling bag, the seal of which was broken". She said the officer was presented before the district returning officer (DRO).

She added that the man caught "red-handed" was trying to escape but was stopped and detained. "All PML-N reps on the vigil are present there. They are not letting him go. We won't let go like this. What happened in 2018, happened. No more," Maryam said.

As many as 162 polling stations and 423 polling booths had been established for the by-elections in PP-51. There are 253,949 voters in the constituency.

By-polls were also held for the NA-75 (Daska) constituency. The seat fell vacant after the demise of PML-N MNA Sahibazada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah.

In a tweet around 10:30pm, Maryam said the results of both NA-75 and PP-51 by-elections "have stopped coming for more than an hour now", terming it a "replay of 2018".

"I want to warn all those who have stopped the results from Daska & Wazirabad and are trying to change the results, that THIS IS GOING TO COST YOU BIG TIME," she wrote.

Earlier in the day, at least two people were killed and three others injured in a firing incident at a polling station in Daska in Sialkot.

One of the victims was reportedly a member of the ruling PTI while the other belonged to the PML-N. A PTI polling agent was also among the injured, according to eyewitnesses and local media.

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