Sanghar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Liaquat Ali Bhatti on Thursday started an inquiry into the forcible marking of postal ballot papers of government employees at the Shahdadpur Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), a private media outlet reported.
The DC, in his capacity as the monitoring officer of district Sanghar, called SIMS Director Dr Bachal Girwan and National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare Additional District Coordinator (ADC) Shama Gulani to his office for an inquiry into allegations of forced marking of ballots in favour of a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate.
The complainant informed the DC that ADC Shama Gulani called lady health workers (LHWs) to SIMS five days ago along with their individual ballot papers. He alleged that upon reaching the hospital, they were told to mark their ballot papers in favour of the PPP candidate.
Some LHWs objected to the rigging attempt by the ADC and reached the hospital with reporters and caught the officer red-handed with ballot papers.
He submitted to the DC Sanghar a video clip showing some LHWs complaining about the forced marking of the ballot papers by the officers. It was further alleged that a suspended officer was also involved in the scam and fled from the scene when he saw him and others arriving.
According to a media reports, the employees were called by SIMS authorities to the hospital along with their postal ballot papers. After they arrived, they were told by the ADC to mark their individual ballot papers in favour of the PPP candidate.
After the inquiry, the complainant told reporters that he had submitted evidence of rigging in the postal ballot votes to the DC.
He demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cancel all the postal ballot papers issued in the Shahdapur Taluka due to widespread rigging in their marking.
The postal ballot is a service available for government officials, prisoners and the physically disabled, who cannot cast their votes by going to their respective polling stations.