LAHORE: The drama of by-polls in the upcoming NA-133 took a new twist as the PTI government asked the Election Commission to postpone the election while the PMLN rejected this demand declaring it a planned move of the PTI to run away from the by-elections due to fear of defeat.
The News has already published a story about possible disqualification of PTI candidate Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and his covering candidate his wife Mussarat Cheema as votes of their proposers were not in the constituency and Election Commission Saturday announced disqualification of both the candidates.
Sources in the PTI circles claimed that nomination of proposers belonging to another constituency was a result of internal rift between the PTI leadership but the leaders rejected these allegations earlier.
On Saturday, PMLN had also rejected the demand of the Punjab government to postpone the NA-133 by-election on the basis of the ongoing protests by the banned Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP).
Senior PMLN leader Kh Saad Rafique along with MNAs Ali Pervaiz Malik and Naseer Bhutta held a press conference Saturday and rejected the demand of the Punjab government.
Saad said the government was making excuses to postpone the by-election in NA-133 because it knew it will face a humiliating defeat in this election. He said the TLP protest was taking place some 200 km away from Lahore and had nothing to do with the by-elections in NA-133.
He said the government didn’t remember the law and order situation when the Election Commission released the schedule but as soon as objections were raised on the PTI candidate Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and his covering candidate Musarrat Cheema, the government started making excuses.
“If elections can be held during corona, then why not now?” he questioned and said the laws made through the ordinance will be challenged, they have no legal status, the present government was a product of rigging, the victory of our sister Shaista Pervaiz Malik was certain.
The former minister said the election arena was ready, now the government wanted to flee. He said during the last three and a half years the biggest province of the country has been destroyed. He said false excuses should not affect the election schedule.
On the occasion, MNA Ali Pervaiz Malik said after the rejection of Jamshed Iqbal’s nomination papers, the PTI started making excuses.
Meanwhile, PTI’s candidate Jamshed Cheema along with party leader Ijaz Chaudhry also held a press conference and announced that the party will approach all legal forums to contest the technical mistake.
Senator Ijaz Chaudhry said the fault was of Election Commission and Nadra as all the votes of the remaining family members of the proposers of Jamshed Cheema were registered in NA-133 but only two votes of this family were shifted to NA-130.
“Did the voters apply for shifting of their votes,” he questioned and said the party will challenge the voters list and shifting of votes to other constituencies without giving any information to the voters by the Election Commission.
To a question, Ijaz said he wanted to pitch his own son as a candidate from NA-133; Jamshed Iqbal Cheema said there was no rift between the party leaders and he became the party candidate with consensus. He asked his supporters and voters to don’t lose heart and said he surely will get relief from the LHC’s election tribunal about rectifying this technical mistake.
“We will contest the election and will win,” he said, adding if the PMLN thought that it was a popular party in this constituency then it should take back its objections and show sportsman spirit by asking the Election Commission to allow him to contest the by-elections.
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