LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has followed in the footsteps of the Pakistan Peoples Party and promised the provision of free electricity units, as PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz launched her election campaign for a National Assembly seat in Lahore’s NA-119 constituency.

At the opening of his election office in the Bhatti Gate area of the Walled City, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz said that in case his party returned to power in the Feb 8 polls, the people would be provided 300 units of electricity ‘free of cost’.

Recalling that his brief government in Punjab had begun providing 100 power units free of cost, he regretted that his rivals then obtained a stay order from a court against the step. Urging the people to think before casting their vote on Feb 8, he said that their vote would decide the fate of the country.

Promising to curtail inflation after coming into power, he said it was the PML-N that had controlled price hikes, eliminated terrorism from Karachi and other parts of the country, and ended power load shedding, besides providing mass transit systems in the form of metro bus and orange line train.

Maryam claims party’s popularity rising as polls come closer

He said the PML-N government contained the value of the US dollar equal to Rs105 during its term (2013-18) in power. During the PML-N government, sugar had cost Rs55 per kg, petrol Rs78 per litre, and electricity Rs7 per unit, he added.

Defending the decisions like reviving the IMF programme taken by the PML-N-led coalition during its 16-month rule, he said that the decision, though caused inflation in the country, “saved the country from bankruptcy”.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz said that Lahore was destroyed during the four-year tenure of ‘infiltrators’, a reference to the PTI led by former prime minister Imran Khan.

Talking to her election team for NA-119, the PML-N leader claimed that the surveys being conducted by various organisations revealed that “as the polling day comes closer the PML-N graph is going up”.

She said that the journey of development and progress would be re-started from where it had been abandoned because of the “ouster” of PML-N from power in the 2018 polls. She said she did not consider herself a leader, rather she was out in the field to serve people.

She said that she would knock at every door during her election campaign in NA-119 to tell the masses that they were now “her responsibility as they had sided with her during the last six harsh years”.

Meanwhile, the PML-N claimed that PTI ticket-holder in NA-119 Muhammad Waseem had withdrawn his papers in favour of Maryam Nawaz and had promised to support her in the Feb 8 polls.

However, a list of PTI candidates doing rounds on social media showed that the former ruling party has nominated Shehzad Farooq, a brother of PTI leader Ibad Farooq, as its candidate for the seat.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2024

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