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November 1, 2015

Low turnout in Allama Iqbal Town

Lahore

November 1, 2015

LAHORE
With no major law and order taking place and overall low turnout, the polling process of the Local Government election ended peacefully in Allama Iqbal Town.
However, workers of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) raised allegations against the ruling party’s political interference and highhandedness of the police and administration towards their workers. During the first half of the polling, low turnout remained the main point of concern for all the candidates but after lunch time the number of voters increased.
Workers of both parties set up their election camps outside the polling stations and were assisting the voters by providing them slips bearing their names, ward numbers and polling booths' locations. At many camps, workers were using laptops for checking the lists of the voters.
Workers of both PML-N and PTI were using party flags, shirts and caps bearing party slogans and symbols are also used in abundance. Every camp was decorated with party flags and buntings while several workers had also decorated their motorcycles, cars and other vehicles with their party symbols.
The main fight in this town is between the PTI and PML-N as most of the candidates in this Town are enjoying the support of two traditional rival groups of Khokhar family, which is dominating in this Town. The candidates of the PML-N are backed by PML-N’s MNA Afzal Khokhar while the PTI candidates are following former MNA Karamat Khokhar and Zaheer Abbas Khokhar.
The area of Allama Iqbal Town comprises over 30 union councils and more than 60 percent of this Town is rural and suburban localities. The urban areas in this town are Mustafa Town, Johar Town, PIA Colony, WAPDA Town, EME Colony, Wafaqi Colony and various blocks of Allama Iqbal Town, Clifton Colony, Muslim Town, Jodhpur, Alirazaabad, Satukatla, Choung and Zamir Town while the suburban and rural areas are Hanjerwal, Shahpur, Niaz Beig, Thokar Niaz Beig, Maraka, Mohlanwal, Shamky Bhattian, Sultan

Key, Manga etc.
Individual fights between political rivals were also reported in various UCs but timely intervention of the police averted any untoward incident. On main boulevard of the Wapda Town, workers of both PML-N and PTI continued to exchange harsh words with each other throughout the election day because camps of both parties were close enough. Heavy contingents of police also remained there to avert any untoward situation. Similarly, Raiwind Road, the camps of PML-N are dominating the PTI camps.
Fights between the workers of the PML-N and PTI in Mohlanwal (UC 211) also reported during the election day and polling process was also disrupted for some time. TheDCO Lahore and other senior police officials also rushed to the scene and controlled the situation.
Police batoncharged us while no action was taken against the PML-N workers for chanting slogans against us, alleged Tanvir, a PTI worker present at the scene. He said the PML-N workers were continuously chanting slogans against us but when we responded, police used force on us.
In Union Council Sultankey, election process was stopped due to rush of voters after lunch. Female voters alleged that they were waiting for the last four hours to cast their votes but were not allowed to enter in by the police on the pretext of rush of voters.
Multan Road from Thokar to Manga remained the hub of election activity throughout the day. All the major markets in the Town are closed but local shops and businesses were open.
A number of voters in UC 257 (NFC Housing Society) claimed that they are not residents of this UC but their votes were transferred here due to unknown reasons. Shahid, a resident of College Road, said he has come all the way from Township to NFC to cast his vote. He said he didn’t know who transferred his vote. Zubaida, another resident of Township, said she lives in UC 138 but her vote has been transferred to UC 25. She said she has also filed an application to the ECP but it was rejected on the pretext that time of vote transfer has finished.
Azeem, a resident of Mansoora, said his vote was transferred to a union council in Garhi Shahu. He said he and his family always cast votes in all the previous elections from Mansoora and this was the first time they didn’t cast their votes due to its illogical transfer.
Overall the electioneering activity was peaceful in Allama Iqbal Town and citizens enjoyed the festivity. After elections, the counting process also engaged the workers who danced on the drumbeats as soon as they came to know that their favourite candidate has won. Special lighting arrangements were also made at most of the camps of both parties.