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Thursday May 23, 2024

Protests begin in Hyderabad against alleged rigging

By Aftab Ahmed
February 11, 2024

hyderabad: Alleging massive post-poll rigging in the elections in Hyderabad, various political parties have started filing applications for the recount of votes.

Voters are in queue waiting to cast their votes at a polling station during the General Election 2024, in Hyderabad on February 8, 2024. — PPI
Voters are in queue waiting to cast their votes at a polling station during the General Election 2024, in Hyderabad on February 8, 2024. — PPI

Faisal Mughal, an independent candidate supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from NA-220 in Hyderabad city has requested a recount to Returning Officer (RO) Aamir Jahangir.

The PTI-backed independent candidate from NA-219 Dr Mustansar Billah said on Sunday that he as well as independent candidates from PS-62 and PS-64 would also submit the recount request to the concerned ROs.

Afroz Shoro, an independent candidate from PS-60 supported by the PTI, claimed that he had defeated Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Jam Khan Shoro in seven polling stations in Qasimabad but the result was changed. He added that in other constituencies of Hyderabad, the results were also manipulated and changed, due to which they had the right to protest.

The PPP’s candidate for NA-219, Ali Muhammad Sehto, told The News that a request for recount had been submitted by him because the result that was released was surprising. He maintained that there were obvious mistakes in the result that anyone could easily detect.

Sehto said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) candidate from PS-62, Sabir Hussain Qaim Khani, won by getting 24,385 votes and Abdul Jabbar Khan of the PPP who came second got 18,209 votes.

He added that Rehan Rajput, an independent candidate supported by the PTI for PS-63, won by getting 40,304 votes, while Kamran Shafiq of the MQM-P got the second place with 11,844 votes and Sanam Talpur of the PPP got 7,025 votes on the third position.

Sehto said if the votes of PS-62 and PS-63 were combined the MQM-P had polled 36,229 votes, the PTI-backed independent had 54,591 votes and the PPP had 25,034 votes, due to which the MQM-P’s victory in NA-219 was surprising.

According to the Form 47, the MQM-P's winning candidate Abdul Aleem secured 55,050 votes in NA-219, the PTI-backed candidate secured 38,315 votes and the PPP secured 26,649 votes. Addressing a press conference at the press club, Jamaat-e-Islami Naib Emir Merajul Huda, who was the party’s candidate for NA-219, said the JI did not recognise the success of the MQM-P because in the forms 45 collected by the election cell of the JI, the PTI-backed independent candidates had won from urban constituencies and their mandate was stolen.

The JI leader conceded that the JI candidates were the runners-up in the urban constituencies of Hyderabad.

Huda has called for a protest in Hyderabad on Sunday against the alleged rigging of the elections. The JI leader also went to the residence of his rival PTI’s candidate Mustanasir Billah and congratulated him.

Candidates of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan also protested against the ECP and ROs and held a march from Heerabad to the press club. Supporters of the party shouted slogans against the alleged rigging and refused to accept the results.

The Grand Democratic Alliance’s candidate from PS-60, Ayaz Latif Palijo, said in a statement that Sindh had once again been gifted to Asif Ali Zardari. He alleged that unprecedented rigging had taken place in the elections.