–Rigging allegations loom in Senate by-poll as Opp parties claim their lawmakers were not allowed to enter Punjab Assembly
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Shahzad Waseem was successfully elected to the Senate from Punjab on Wednesday after he trumped Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan by a margin of just 12 votes.
While Dr Waseem bagged 181 out of the total 351 votes cast, Ahsan’s tally stood at 169 during the poll that took place in the Punjab Assembly. One vote was rejected in the counting process.
The seat had become vacant when PTI’s Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar resigned before taking charge as the governor of Punjab.
RIGGING ALLEGATIONS LOOM:
Several members of the opposition parties alleged that the election was rigged by closing the door for entry of the members of opposition parties but keeping the entrance open for members of treasury benches.
PML-N lawmaker Waris Kallu said, “I was in the assembly, our door was closed but the other door was kept open.”
“Rigging was done in front of us. Today reminded us of July 25,” he added.
Another PML-N leader Uzma Bukhari claimed that the “Punjab chief election commissioner misused his authority.” She demanded his “immediate sacking”.
On the other hand, Punjab Senior Minister and PTI aide Aleem Khan rejected the PML-N’s claim of rigging. He said, “Our votes have not decreased … A PTI and another PML-Q member were outside the country, and one of our votes was rejected.”
WINNER THANKS PM KHAN:
Later, Dr Waseem thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for putting his faith in him. While talking to media persons, he said, “I also thank our allies who voted for me.”
“I will fight Punjab’s case in the Senate with full force, and will work for the public’s better future,” he added.
Being a senior PTI member, Dr Waseem has served as an adviser to PTI Chairman Imran Khan on foreign political parties’ relations. He was elected as a senator on the PML-Q ticket from 2002 to 2008 and later served as minister of state for interior in former prime minister Shaukat Aziz’ cabinet during the military rule of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf.