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March 4, 2018

Zubair Gull repeats Aslam Gill in 2018 Senate elections

National

March 4, 2018

LAHORE: PML-N suffered a dent on Saturday as Zubair Gull, one of its strong contestants, lost Senate polls just like PPP candidate Aslam Gill, who had experienced the same six years ago despite being in a strong position.

The striking similarity between the 2012 and 2018 Senate polls is that in both cases, a sitting MPA caused upset as the contestants and left the favourite candidates wanting. In 2012, it was Mohsin Leghari, the weakest candidate who emerged victorious as senator and it is Rana Mehmood-ul-Hassan of PML-N, who unexpectedly won on a general seat this time in 2018.

Although the PTI created history after Chaudhry Sarwar got elected as the first ever senator on PTI ticket from Punjab, yet the real upset in this episode was the defeat of Gull, head of PML-N UK chapter, in whose place Rana won the election despite being in a weaker position.

On six out of a total seven general seats from Punjab, the PML-N victory was quite expected on the basis of its strength in the House and the party, keeping in view this situation, awarded a secure position to Gull who was even declared victorious by most of his party members at the time of counting.

According to the PML-N MPAs, the fight was to take place on the seventh general seat where, according to them, the PTI was giving them tough time. The PML-N had pitched Rana on that insecure slot and the prime focus was being given on the second priority vote for him.

However, the results were surprising. Rana was declared victorious by the officials with 40 votes whereas Gull, who was supposed to bag more than 45 votes, got 38 and declared defeated.

Gull was placed in a secure bloc by his party whereas Rana, a sitting MPA from Multan, was awarded a position where his seat was at severe risk.

However, the PML-N MPAs cast more votes in favour of Rana, which caused an upset for Gull and he was thrown of the race.

Interestingly, the PPP suffered a major blow six years ago when it lost one of its confirmed seat in the form of Aslam Gill who despite bagging 44 votes couldn’t find place in the top seven list or the general seats.

To secure a weak candidate, Kamil Ali Agha of PML-Q, the PPP MPAs, being the allies of Q-league in 2012, cast second priority votes in favour of him, while ignoring their own party ticket holder.

On Saturday, it was almost a similar situation as the PML-N had to lose a strong candidate in order to secure a weaker one. However, PML-N won 11 seats out of a total of 12 from Punjab in 2018.

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