LAHORE: Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi says Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has broken his promise made before the Supreme Court of holding free and fair by-elections.

Mr Elahi, who is also Punjab’s chief minister candidate against Hamza, demanded that the Supreme Court take notice of the interference in the by-elections of the Punjab government and legal action against the chief minister. Sensing the defeat, he said, the Punjab government diverted the government resources to the by-elections’ constituencies.

The speaker was speaking to a PTI delegation, led by party secretary-general Asad Umar, that called on him at his residence on Wednesday. MNAs Moonis Elahi and Hussain Elahi as well as delegation members, former federal minister Riaz Fatyana, opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan, former provincial minister Mahmood Rasheed and Muhammad Ali Akbar Khan were also present.

On the orders of CM Shehbaz, Mr Elahi said, development departments and the police were interfering in the election process in the worst possible way. He said the father-son duo wanted to illegally occupy Punjab. He said the Punjab government was committing fraud and violating the election commission’s code of conduct by doing development work and use of government resources in by-election constituencies.

“The survey of every constituency and the voice of people are in favour of PTI candidates,” Mr Elahi said.

Mr Umar said Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Dost Mazari was repeatedly crossing the party line and was seen sitting in every party meeting of the PML-N. He said the PTI was constantly informing the ECP about the violations being committed by the Punjab government. Since the Election Commission is showing prejudice, he asked, when would the election commission take action against the Punjab government?

They also discussed the political situation in the country, including the by-election and the chief minister’s election. The meeting expressed concern over the interference of the Punjab government in the by-elections in Punjab.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2022

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