Money being offered to buy ‘horses’ for Senate elections: PM Imran

Says Rs700 million being demanded for a vote in Senate polls

By: News Desk      Published: 02:37 PM, 10 Feb, 2021
Money being offered to buy ‘horses’ for Senate elections: PM Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that from Rs500 million to Rs700 million are being demanded for a vote in Senate elections in Balochistan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Talking to journalists in Kallar Syedan, Imran Khan said “Not just today but even in the past I was offered money many times to sell my vote in Senate.” The prime minister said he was approached directly and indirectly to sell his vote in Senate.

Imran Khan said he had endorsed the PML-N’s demand for open voting in the Senate election as the PPP and the Nawaz League had struck an agreement for open ballotting under Charter of Democracy.

“The real issue is whether the Senate elections should be held under the present mechanism or not,” Imran maintained. "The Opposition will suffer if secret ballottign held," he said.

The prime minister said “In this business of selling and purchasing votes Maulana Fazlur Rehman had earned the most.”

To a question, he said “If I had any video about the votes selling I would have presented it in the court.”

“A market is set up where politicians are sold. Everyone had benefited as this business had been going on for 30 years,” he said.

Social-welfare projects to be expanded

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan terming uplift of poor and underprivileged a ‘key responsibility of the government’ said the network of socio-welfare projects would be expanded to benefit the deserving populace amass.

The Prime Minister, sitting under an old Banyan tree in a Rawalpindi’s remote area of Kallar Syedan along with the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kifalat Programme, said the financial assistance was aimed at easing up the difficulties of the deserving people.

The Prime Minister’s visit to the outskirts of Rawalpindi was meant at reviewing the enrolment of new beneficiaries included in second phase of Ehsaas Kifalat programme under the ongoing survey.

In an informal interaction with beneficiaries belonging to poorest of the poor section, Imran Khan assured them that the government would extend them every possible support in areas of education, health and housing. He expressed satisfaction that seven million households had been registered under Ehsaas Kifalat that would be given Rs12,000 every six months.

He said health cards with insurance of up to Rs 0.7 million would be issued to people to lessen their burden of expensive medical treatment. Also, he said, under-graduate scholarships would be given to poor students to ensure their inclusion in mainstream system.

In area of housing, Imran said the government had launched construction of affordable residences under Naya Pakistan project. He mentioned that another upcoming project would offer rent of houses to be accommodated against the payment of instalments in purchase of constructed property.

He said the government would provide Rs10 billion as interest-free loans as house-building finance for deserving people. He said financial assistance would be given with a goal to help poor run small businesses to earn their livelihood.

Imran Khan said transparency and merit would be ensured in disbursement of cash under the Ehsaas socio-welfare programme. He recalled that 30,000 non-deserving people were delisted from the Ehsaas lists, who had faked their identities as poor.

He said nobody could raise a question on the transparency of Ehsaas programme, where the cash disbursement was made on non-political basis. He mentioned that even more funds were given to Sindh due to poverty despite the fact that the province was not being run by his political party.

PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar in a briefing to the Prime Minister said 70 percent of the comprehensive Ehsaas survey had been completed, which would be finalized by June.

She said all those that have been identified for enrollment through the new survey will be given Rs2,000 a month on a continuing basis, to assist them with their basic needs. She said 280,000 families would be sent SMS today informing them that they could collect Rs2,000.

Dr Nishtar assured that in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the principles of transparency, honesty and merit would be maintained in cash disbursement.

Women beneficiaries of the programme namely Nasreen Bibi, Allah Rakhi, Amina Bibi and others on the occasion talked to Prime Minister Imran Khan and expressed gratitude that Ehsaas programme would prove helpful in mitigating their financial ordeal.