PTI blames RO for Daska defeat

Published April 12, 2021
Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan sarcastically “congratulated” the RO on the PML-N’s victory in the by-poll. — DawnNewsTV/File
Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan sarcastically “congratulated” the RO on the PML-N’s victory in the by-poll. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has accused the Daska NA-175 returning officer (RO) of making all out efforts to help the PML-N candidate win the by-election in the constituency “by converting the PTI’s win into its defeat”.

Flanked by the PTI central Punjab president Senator Ejaz Chaudhry at a presser at the party’s Canal Road office here on Sunday, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan sarcastically “congratulated” the RO on the PML-N’s victory in the by-poll.

Dr Awan said contrary to the assessments of the media and the agencies monitoring the by-poll that the voters’ turnout was not more than 17-18 percent in the coronavirus-hit district, the results showed 43.3pc turnout. She also rapped the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to check the violations Covid standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the polling day.

Though the PTI bagged over 92,000 votes in the by-election, she said her party needed more time to awaken those, “who had been drugged during the past four decades”.

Dr Awan announced she would present the “proofs” of distribution of around Rs120 million in the Daska constituency during the by-election through the PML-N leadership, urging the ECP to take notice of the alleged malpractice.

She wondered why the ECP did not issue notices to the PML-N parliamentarians who, she alleged, remained present inside the polling stations to get votes polled for their party.

Senator Ejaz Chaudhry said the PTI had won the NA-175 by-election on Feb 19, but the ECP won the same suspended election in Daska on April 10.

He said the PTI workers contested the by-election very well as the party bagged 37pc more votes than those it got in 2018.

Indirectly referring to PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, he said, “An absconder who flew out of the country on a Rs50 stamp paper, had actually lost the election”.

He questioned the ECP inaction over “PML-N’s spending of huge amounts to buy votes” and added that the PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi submitted several applications to the RO in this regard but there was no action.

Mr Chaudhry said the Punjab government ensured that the by-election should be held in atransparent and fair manner, and unlike the PML-N, did not carry out any development work

in the constituency to influence voters as per the ECP rules and regulations.

While in opposition, Mr Chaudhry said the PTI had won by-elections in Rajanpur, Hafizabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, D.G. Khan and other districts.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2021

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