LAHORE: PML-N candidate Shaista Pervaiz Malik won the bypolls of NA-133 Lahore bagging 46,811 votes while the runner-up candidate of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Muhammad Aslam Gill secured 32,313 votes.
As many as 10 candidates were in the running for the seat in NA-133 out of which six were independent while four were representing different political parties. Independent candidate Habib Ullah got 650 votes and remained on third position. Other candidates including Rana Khalid Mehmood (independent) got 56 votes, Sohail Shahzad (independent) got 97 votes, Syeda Ghulam Fatima Gillani from Front National Pakistan got 377 votes, Abul Aziz from Tehreek-e-Jawanan Pakistan got 144, Irfan Khalid (independent) got 48 votes, Muhammad Hafeez (independent) received 86 votes, Muhammad Nawaz (independent) bagged 115 votes.
Turnout of votes was on lower side as it remained only 18.59 percent. There are a total of 440,485 registered voters in this constituency out of which 233,558 are male and 206,927 are female voters. However, only 81,895 voters exercised their right to vote out of which 50,936 were male voters while 30,959 were female voters. As many as 898 votes were rejected due to different technical reasons. The Election Commission of Pakistan had constituted 254 polling stations for the by-polls. The polling started at 8:00am and continued till 5:00pm without any break and untoward incident.
Low turnout and minor clashes witnessed between PMLN, PPP workers Low turnout with minor clashes between PML- and PPP workers was observed in the NA-133 constituency on the by-election day. Besides PML-N’s Shaista Malik and PPP’s Aslam Gill, nine other candidates took part in the by-elections.
The early hours of polling witnessed very low turnout and majority of the polling staff was sitting free. However, in afternoon the number of voters increased gradually.
It was almost after 10 years, the provincial metropolis witnessed a clash between two rivals PML-N and PPP because of the absence of any candidate of the ruling PTI in NA-133. The seat fell vacant after the death of PMLN stalwart and five times MNA from Lahore Pervaiz Malik.
Heavy contingent of police were deployed outside every polling station. Rangers personnel were also present on the gates of every polling station. It was witnessed that majority of the PTI voters stayed away from the polling process; however, at some polling stations, the PTI voters chose to vote for PPP’s candidate Aslam Gill.
PML-N leaders and workers and PPP leadership including former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraff were constantly visiting different polling stations. PPP’s former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira was also present in the constituency and issued voting slips to candidates.
In 2018 general elections, PML-N candidate Pervaiz Malik got above 85,000 votes whereas PTI candidate was Ejaz Chaudhry, who got around 77,000 votes.
Violations of code of conduct were also observed in NA-133 by-election. PPP voter entered the polling booth with his mobile phone, stamped PPP election symbol and boldly took his selfie and uploaded it to the social media, which pointed out loopholes in the security system.
Meanwhile, PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif in his message on the social media urged the voters to use their voting right to stop inflation, economic catastrophe and unemployment. “Only PML-N can give relief to the country and the people,” he said.
The polling continued till 5pm without any break. A scuffle broke out outside a polling station in Green Town Mariyum Colony Block-1. However, the police managed to control the situation and pushed the political workers back.