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December 29, 2015

PTI makes much of new voters in NA-154

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December 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has been the main critic of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for registering over 50,000 new voters in the NA-154 after General Elections 2013 but interestingly it has also been the major beneficiary of such new voters in the by-election in Ladhran held last week.

The PTI chief, Imran Khan, has been stating that in order to defeat the PTI, the ECP has transferred more than 50,000 votes into NA-154 where his party’s Jahangir Khan Tareen was contesting against PML-N’s Siddique Khan Baloch.

Taking a look at the General Election 2013 results in the NA-154, Siddique Khan Baloch secured 86,046 votes as an independent candidate while Jahangir Khan Tareen of PTI got 75,814 votes. PML-N’s candidate obtained 45,000 votes in 2013.

In the by-election in Lodhran held on December 23rd, Jahangir Khan Tareen got 138,573 votes while PML-N’s Baloch secured 99,312 votes. Officials in Nadra say that the criticism on Nadra and ECP by the PTI was uncalled for because Nadra had registered genuine 51,828 new voters in NA-154 after the May 2013 election and the result pattern shows that a majority of new voters have voted for the PTI thus the allegation on Nadra that it was trying to defeat the PTI candidate fell flat.

It is worth mentioning here that the NA-154 is one of those four constituencies for which the PTI had been demanding reopening of polling bags and complete scrutiny of the polling record as the party believed that it was defeated through well-planned, engineered and rigged elections in 2013. The PTI had staged sit-ins at the D-Chowk, Islamabad, and later a judicial commission was constituted to probe the rigging charges. The commission comprising the chief justice of Pakistan and two other apex court judges had set aside all rigging charges.

Much before the polling day in Lodhran, the PTI chief started making allegations in advance and accused the ECP/Nadra of transferring more than 50,000 votes in NA-154 to ensure the defeat of PTI. These allegations were leveled during different press conferences.

Nadra has compiled that voters registered in the NA-154 during the 2013 General Elections were 370,150 while in by-election, the number of registered voters surged to 419,182.

Some 3,737 voters were removed from the NA-154 voting list after the 2013 elections of which some 975 voters migrated from the constituency while 2,494 people were removed from the voting lists because of their deaths and CNICs of 75 persons in NA-154 were cancelled and 193 CNICs were blocked.

The Nadra data also shows that 941 people migrated to the NA-154 after the 2013 election. Fresh voters registered in the NA-154 voting list was recorded at 51,828. Among the fresh voters in NA-154, 16,472 (4,535 female) fresh voters are from age bracket of 18-20 years, 22,816 (12,273 female) fresh voters from the age bracket of 21-30 years, 6,855 (5,316 female) fresh voters from the age bracket of 31-40 years, 2,930 (2,100 female) fresh voters from the age bracket of 41-50 years, 1,431 (1,003 female) fresh voters from the age bracket of 51-60 years and 1,324 (901) fresh voters from age bracket of above 60 year. Fresh voters among older age are mostly women. Some of the cases of older ages also include those with canceled or blocked CNICs because of duplication.

Basically, the PTI dubbed the fresh registered voters as voters transferred into the NA-154 from other constituencies but PTI itself has been the major beneficiary of the newly registered voters.

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