All set for ‘make or break’ by-polls on 20 Punjab Assembly seats today

PML-N and PTI’s popularity at stake: Army, FC, Rangers to keep an eye on miscreants

By: News Desk
Published: 01:01 PM, 16 Jul, 2022
All set for ‘make or break’ by-polls on 20 Punjab Assembly seats today
Caption: Representational image.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Preparations are complete for the by-elections to be held on 20 Punjab Assembly (PA) seats today (Sunday, July 17, 2022) as the polling material has been distributed and the authorities have decided to deploy Rangers and FC personnel in these constituencies in order to maintain law and order situation, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday. 

The ECP has also decided to deploy jawans of Pakistan Army in seven constituencies, while there will be a complete ban on the display of weapons on the voting day. 

A special control room will also be set up inside the Interior Ministry’s office on July 16 and July 17 to keep an eye on troublemakers. 

As many as 175 candidates are in the run for these seats located in different districts of Punjab, including four in Lahore.

Lahore Police’s Operation Wing carried out a full-dress rehearsal yesterday (Friday) to demonstrate its state of readiness ahead of the by-elections which have gained ‘make or break’ status as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s future in the province depends on it.  

With their popularity at stake, the PML-N needs to win 10 seats and its rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), on the other hand, has to grab 13 seats in order to create an upset and send CM Hamza Shehbaz’s government home. 

Political parties and independent candidates wound up their campaigns at midnight yesterday as under the rules, electioneering has to be stopped 24 hours before the elections. 

While PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz addressed her last public gathering in Multan, former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan made his last speech before the elections in Lahore.    

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has made it clear that strict action would be taken under the Election Act against a political party or a candidate holding a corner meeting or a public gathering today.                          

These 20 PA seats had fallen vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had to de-notify 25 PTI MPAs, who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the election for Punjab chief minister on April 16, 2022, in the light of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Article 63-A of the constitution. 

52,000 cops deployed

Over 52,000 police personnel in 14 districts of Punjab will be deployed for by-elections in 20 provincial constituencies of Punjab.

A provincial government spokesperson has said that security arrangements have been finalized at over 3,100 polling stations for the elections scheduled on July 17.

ECP control rooms

Election Commission of Pakistan has set up special control rooms at central and provincial levels to monitor the by-elections, being held in 20 constituencies of Punjab Assembly.

According to the Election Commission, the control rooms will continue working till compilation of polling results.

Returning Officers, relevant Deputy Commissioners, representatives of police, Rangers and Pakistan Army will be present in the control rooms to deal with any emergency.

The Control Rooms will promptly resolve election related complaints. Complaints can be registered in central control room Islamabad at 051-9210837; 051-9204403; 051-9204402; and 051-9210838.

Complaint can also be communicated through fax number 051-9204404 and email; ddmonitoringisb@gmail.com

Provincial control room, Lahore could be contacted at landline telephone 042-99212620; 042-99212209 and email pecpunjabcontrolroom@gmail.com.

Reporters: Usman Khan, Umar Aslam, Ali Sahi, Romail Ilyas, Rao Dilshad Hussain