PML-N cries foul as polling for Sialkot PP-38 by-polls underway amid rain
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The polling for the by-election of PP-38 Sialkot 4 is underway on Wednesday though the voters are facing difficulty in reaching the polling stations due to rain in the city. The PML-N candidate cried foul as few incidents of brawl and illegal activity were reported during the polling day, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The polling was started at 8:00am and it will continue till 5pm without break.
Eight candidates are contesting the Sialkot by-poll and a tough competition is expected between PTI candidate Ahsan Saleem and PML-N candidate Tariq Subhani.
The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 233,422 among whom the number of female voters is 105,294.
For the PP-38 by-polls, the Election Commission has established 165 polling stations.
The seat fell vacant following the death of PML-N MPA, Khush Akhtar Subhani.
The activists of PML-N and PTI were involved in a scuffle at a polling station in Sialkot Government Girls High Secondary School. Sialkot police and Ranger officials tried to control the overzealous supporters of both parties.
Sialkot DPO Abdul Ghaffar Qaisarani said that no untoward incident had happened during the polling. He vowed that if anybody found in possession of arms, an action would be taken against him.
While, on the other hand, PML-N candidate Tariq Subhani wrote a letter to the returning officer of the election commission regarding the security situation at polling stations in Sialkot. He alleged that Balaj Tipu, son of Tipu Truckanwal, was taking a round of polling stations leading a caravan of 30 to 40 vehicles flashing his weapon. He feared that the display of arms might thwart the voters and they might not come out to cast their ballots. It may result in a low turnout, he added.
Tariq Subhani also wrote to the RO that Mr Balaj’s action might cause some untoward incident. He urged the RO to take action against Mr Balaj and his companions. He said that people should be allowed to cast their votes freely and in a peaceful atmosphere.
On the complaint of Tariq Subhani, the Sialkot Elite force set up pickets in the city for the checking of the vehicles.
The city administration has imposed Section 144 during the by-polls. The Cantt police have arrested two persons namely Rizwan Mushtaq and Asim for keeping arms. The police recovered a pistol and bullets from their possession.
The election process was stopped at polling stations 68, 69 when the presiding officer took objection over the PML-N camp which was set up within a radius of 400 feet of the polling station. The PO said to set up a camp within a radius of 400 feet is illegal.
However, the heavy rain in Sialkot city has hit the balloting at three polling stations. Male and female voters have to wade through the water to cast their ballots. Rainwater has turned the streets and roads of the city into muddy pools.
The polling process at polling station 87 was stopped due to rain. The ceiling of Sialkot Government High School Syedanwali started leaking and the polling activity over there was halted. The polling staff was draining the rainwater from the polling station so that the polling could be started again.
The intermittent rain in the city put the voters in quandary. When the rain stopped, a rush of the voters could be seen on the polling stations.