Pak PM Shehbaz has a warning for public ahead of by-polls

Lashing out at the PTI, the prime minister said Punjab was subjected to the worst governance during the last almost four years…reports Asian Lite News

Ahead of by-polls in 20 Punjab constituencies, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday urged the masses to think of the “economic disaster, corruption, patronage of mafias and destruction created in the name of change” during the Imran Khan-led PTI’s tenure while casting their votes.

Shehbaz said, “Pakistan has moved away from its destination during the tenure of PTI. You have to express it with your vote,” reported Geo News.

He urged people to reject politics of division, hatred, and chaos through the power of their vote.

Lashing out at the PTI, the prime minister said Punjab was subjected to the worst governance during the last almost four years, adding that citizens were deprived of free medicines and students of scholarships, reported Geo News.

He maintained that there was an open sale of government jobs, postings and transfers in the tenure of PTI.

“Civic facilities were in shambles and lawlessness was at its peak during the Imran Khan-led government,” the prime minister added.

Over 4.5 million voters are exercising their democratic rights amid by-polls in 20 Punjab constituencies. Voting for by-elections on 20 provincial seats in Punjab began around 8 am on Sunday morning. It will continue till 5 pm without any interruption, reported Geo News.

A total of 3,131 polling stations have been set up in the 20 constituencies, of which 676 have been declared “highly sensitive” while 1,194 have been declared “sensitive”.

The 20 seats fell vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) unseated 25 PTI dissident lawmakers on May 23 — which included five lawmakers elected on reserved seats for women and minorities — for voting against PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab chief minister’s election.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that security is on high alert in all constituencies to ensure peace and security during the by-elections. He said that the civil and armed forces have been deputed in all relevant areas as per the Election Commission of Pakistan’s request.

The ECP has set up central and provincial control rooms to monitor the polling process in the province.

The polling stations in the 20 constituencies have been witnessing a massive turnout of voters as young, elderly and persons with disabilities come to exercise their right to vote. The Punjab police can be seen assisting the elderly and disabled at polling stations.

Meanwhile, a scuffle broke out between the PTI and PML-N workers during the polling process in Lahore’s constituency PP-158. As a result, one of the PTI worker’s sustained a head injury.

Meanwhile, PML-N candidate Rana Ahsan Sharafat engaged in a heated argument with PTI leader Jamshed Iqbal Cheema.

Punjab witnesses intense political activity today as make-or-break by-elections on 20 hotly-contested provincial constituencies take place. Political pundits are expecting a tough contest between PML-N and PTI in the by-polls that will decide who will become the next chief minister of the province. (ANI)

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